Evaluation of Pile Repair Splice Design

The Oregon DOT Major Bridge Maintenance Engineer has proposed an in-house pile repair scheme for decayed piles.  This repair scheme involves removing decayed area within the pile leaving a 2” outer shell, filling it up with rapid strength concrete and then placing a steel splice post with a ½” plate welded on the bottom. The design has not been validated by test results. The overall goal of the project was to characterize the new timber pile repair design. More specifically, the objectives of the study were to (a) characterize flexural and compressional properties of the timber splice repair design and (b) discern any influence of concrete plug length on the performance of the piles. The objective was achieved by conducting two tests on pile splices – compression (3) and flexure (3). Overall, the repair design performed well during testing. In compression, the piles did not fail and the testing had to be stopped as the capacity of the actuator was exceeded. The loads achieved in compression were higher than the nominal capacity of wood. In flexure the piles performed adequately albeit with a reduced moment capacity. The pile splice repair design reinforces the pile in the axial direction but expectedly reduces the moment capacity. The dependence of compressional performance of the plies on concrete plug length was not discernible from the current data set. These results cannot be statistically validated because of limited sample size and additional testing is required to achieve statistical significance. The results suggest that the design can be used in practice after accounting for the reduction in moment capacity.

Download the Full Report (.pdf)

Comments are closed.