# Assessment of existing methods for predicting soil response of laterally loaded piles in sand

Abstract

A fundamental study of soil response of piles subjected to lateral loads in sand is conducted using the non-linear finite element approach. Stress paths for selected soil elements around a pile subjected to lateral loads are investigated. The effects of pile properties, i.e., stiffness and diameter, and soil properties, i.e., coefficient of horizontal earth pressure and soil dilatancy, on the soil response of a pile subjected to lateral loads are also investigated. Existing methods for predicting ultimate soil resistance of laterally loaded piles in sand are assessed using non-linear finite element analyses. Major findings of this paper are: (1) the effect of pile stiffness (EI) on the p–y response is not significant, (2) ultimate soil resistance has a non-linear relationship with pile diameter, (3) ultimate soil resistance increases with coefficient of horizontal earth pressure, (4) soil dilatancy has a significant influence on ultimate soil resistance, and (5) Hansen’s method provides a better way for predicting ultimate soil resistance of a laterally loaded pile in sand compared with other existing methods.