Pile Testing

Testing of piles is routinely carried out in order to verify that the design and construction of the piles are in line with expectations or to assist in the design of piles ahead of the main piling construction works.

Pile testing is often a requirement of national standards or can be specified as part of the construction specifications. Testing is carried out by a number of ways including:

  • Static load testing, where the pile is loaded gradually via a load cell from either reaction piles, kentledge or surface footings. This method of testing is generally considered the most reliable method of testing piles and most closely resembles the working loading conditions on the piles.
  • Dynamic load testing, where the pile is loaded over a very short direction by the application of a dynamic load. This test requires more details interpretation of the results, and as a result of the dynamic load application cannot be directly compared to static loading. The test is normally carried out using a pile driving hammer. For driven piles the hammer is commonly the same as the hammer used for installation. Where testing is carried on bored piles careful selection of an appropriate hammer is required, taking into consideration the size of the pile and the target load application.
  • Hybrid testing methods such as Statnamic and StatRapid testing. These tests are carried out by the application of a load over a timescale of around 100 milliseconds. Whilst a degree of interpretation is still required, the testing is generally considered to more closely resemble static loading conditions.
  • Osterberg cell testing. These tests are carried out via a load cell installed within the pile, with the pile providing both the reaction and the tested section. The load cell is located within a pre-determined position within the pile in order to provide the appropriate reaction response.

CMW Geosciences have extensive experience in the design and testing of piles using all the above methods. We are able to provide engineering services to supervise testing and carry out interpretation using all of the above methods. Our independence from the piling contractor can often be valuable for the testing of piles, particularly for public projects where independent testing is a requirement.

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