Analysis of calibration chamber plate load tests Junhwan Lee and Rodrigo Salgado

J. Lee, R. Salgado

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

33 Citations (Scopus)


The estimation of base resistance is a key step in the design of piles embedded in moderately dense to dense sand. Calibration chamber plate load tests are sometimes used to investigate the base load - settlement relationship of nondisplacement piles in sand. In such tests, the sand specimens are carefully prepared to simulate the installation of nondisplacement piles. In this paper, calibration chamber tests are analyzed using the finite element method; experimental and numerical results are compared. The finite element models are axisymmetric and use a nonlinear, elasticplastic constitutive model. Plate resistance values predicted using the finite element analysis are shown to be in good agreement with measured values, which validates the proposed numerical model. Questions regarding the existence of calibration chamber size effects have not, to this date, been adequately addressed. Finite element analyses of both pile base resistance and plate resistance for sands with various relative densities and stress states show that size effects are usually small for settlement levels of interest in practice. This suggests that the use of calibration chambers in pile base capacity studies is justified.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)14-25
Number of pages12
JournalCanadian Geotechnical Journal
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2000

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Geotechnical Engineering and Engineering Geology


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