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Re: pier design

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In a message dated 98-03-05 21:07:12 EST, arvelw(--nospam--at) writes in
response to Martha Alic's pier design question:

<< Also check out Bowle Fifth Edition of his text.  It is usually straight
 and has alternative methods. >>

I use Bowles also.  Because of the way he sets his method up,  if you model
the pier using springs with stiffnesses based on the soil stiffness and the
area of the pile, you can get answers identical to Bowles.

 I use Visual Analysis, but I'm sure any package would work.  It is a good way
to go because you can model constraint (say through a collar) with a stiffer
spring.  It shows you the moment and shear throughout the pier, just as Bowles
does.  This method also allows some flexibility for stratified soils.

The only problem with it:  It's like pulling teeth to get a soils engineer to
give a realistic soil elasticity modulus (aka spring constant.)

Short of an actual pile test, I don't know how to estimate one either, so the
modulus numbers tend to be the loosest part of the whole process.  Can anyone
comment on how L-Pile gets around this difficulty?  Doesn't the finite
difference method used in L-pile do basically the same thing as Bowles?