This paper describes results of a series of small scale static axial and lateral pile load tests carried out on model Fiber Reinforced Polymer (FRP) piles and steel piles. The goal of this study was to establish the geotechnical frictional performance of FRP piles in clayey soils compared to hollow steel piles. Hollow FRP piles were manufactured using both carbon and glass fibers with different fiber orientations. Pile load testing was carried out in large undisturbed clay samples using small scale piles of 55. mm in diameter by 700. mm in length. The axial bearing capacity of FRP piles were shown to be 5-40% higher compared to the steel pile. Under lateral loading, the FRP piles presented increased deflections compared to the steel counterpart. Based on the results presented here, FRP piles present suitable characteristics to act as a load bearing member based on axial geotechnical capacity. The structural integrity and excessive deflections need further investigation.

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Keywords Composite, FRP, Interface, Load test, Pile, Shear strength
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Journal Transportation Geotechnics
Giraldo, J., & Rayhani, M.T. (2014). Load transfer of hollow Fiber-Reinforced Polymer (FRP) piles in soft clay. Transportation Geotechnics, 1(2), 63–73. doi:10.1016/j.trgeo.2014.03.002