Publication Abstract

Proceedings of the 43rd Annual Conference on Deep Foundations, 2018, Anaheim, CA, USA, (DFI)

Toward Understanding the Seismic Performance of Rigid Inclusions
James R. Gingery, Ph.D., P.E., G.E., Lisheng Shao, Ph.D., P.E., G.E., J. Tanner Blackburn, Ph.D. and P.E.

Rigid inclusions consist of grout columns installed using displacement auger or vibrated tooling. The columns are typically installed in an array to provide support for footings, mats, or embankments. Due to the relative small column diameter and low replacement ratio, the surrounding soils typically have minimal densification or improvement. A gravel load transfer platform is commonly used above the rigid inclusion head to distribute stresses more broadly to the supported structure. The axial stiffness and geotechnical engineering mechanics of rigid inclusion design are similar to those of deep foundation systems, but they are typically only lightly- or un-reinforced and are not structurally connected to the above-grade structure. The popularity of rigid inclusions is increasing in the Western U.S., where many urban areas are subject to moderate to high seismic hazard levels. However, the performance of rigid inclusions under seismic loading is poorly understood, and seldom addressed in current designs. The elements are brittle, with limited or no ductility and relatively low moment capacity, and therefore may be prone to damage under seismic loading. Three modes of seismic loading should be considered: inertial loading from the structure, kinematic loading from vertically propagating shear waves, and kinematic loading from ground failurerelated permanent ground deformation. This paper focuses on the first two modes. A simplified procedure for evaluating kinematic and inertial loading of rigid inclusions is described, and its use is illustrated through application to a site in Southern California. The results show that moderate to severe kinematic loading can generate plastic hinges in the rigid inclusions. Engineering consequences of this hinging could include settlement or bearing failure.

 article #3098; publication #1045 (AM-2018)