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Should engineers rely solely on Hiley’s formula in the design of H-piles?

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About 90% of H-piles adopt Hiley’s formula for design. However, this formula is only applicable to pile lengths less than 30m and is suitable for course-grained materials (not suitable to fine-grained soils) as suggested by GEO (1996). In Hiley’s formula, by observing the penetration of piles after the hammer impact, the pile capacity could be readily obtained from the response of the impacting force. Therefore, the individual pile capacity could be obtained by this dynamic method.

However, in normal foundation, groups of H-piles are present and the soil foundation may not be able to support these H-piles simultaneously even though individual piles are proven to have sufficient capacity by using dynamic method. In this case, static method should be employed to ascertain if the soil foundation could support these H-piles.

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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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