The critical depth of piles are normally assumed as 10-20 pile diameter deep and is the depth beyond which the resistance is constant and is equal to respective value at critical depth.
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The type of connection between piles and pile caps affects the load carrying capacity of pile groups. The fixity of pile head into pile cap, instead of pinning into pile cap, enhances higher lateral stiffness of the pile groups. For instance, for the same deflections, a cap with fixed connected piles can sustain far more loads than that of pinned connected piles. To satisfy the criterion of fixed connection, the minimum embedded length of piles into pile caps should be at least two times the diameter of piles.