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For typical pile bents in marine piers, how is vertical loads related to horizontal capacity of the pile bents?

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Let’s consider a pile bent with a top slab supported by two ranking piles, each inclining at an equal angle to the pier slab. In designing such a system, truss action is normally adopted to analyze the pile bent. When the reaction forces of these piles, horizontal forces (e.g. due to berthing and deberthing of vessels) and vertical forces (e.g. superimposed deck loads) are analyzed by drawing a force polygon, it is noted that lateral resistance of the pile bent is dependent on the vertical load, i.e. lateral resistance is small when vertical loads are high.

Force polygon of pile bent

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This question is taken from book named – A Self Learning Manual – Mastering Different Fields of Civil Engineering Works (VC-Q-A-Method) by Vincent T. H. CHU.

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