Pile Testing

The principal purpose of the pile test is to determine or verify the safe working load for the pile-soil system and to ensure pile design assumptions and load bearing capacities are compliant with the specification.

On most piling contracts it is a requirement that non-destructive testing is carried out on working piles to verify design assumptions and confirm pile load bearings capacities.

Prior to commencing with pile installation, the specification will clearly identify the test regime to be adopted on site that is specifically aligned to the method of pile installation and associated geotechnical risk.

Pile testing is carried out by our team of in-house test engineers that are fully conversant with the requirements contained with the ICE Specification for Piling Works and Embedded Retaining Walls.

There are several different pile testing techniques used including the following: –

  • Static Load Testing – is the most used pile testing method and is carried out by gradually loading the pile via a load cell, from either reaction piles, kentledge or surface footings.

Static load testing can be carried out in all soil conditions and on all pile types and if necessary, tension and lateral testing is also possible.

  • Dynamic Load Testing – is where the pile is loaded over a short direction by the application of a dynamic load.

This test method is an economic alternative or supplementary test to the traditional static load test and can be applied to all pile types, typically precast piles.

  • Pile Integrity Testing – is a low-strain, non-destructive method to detect defects along the pile shaft and can be carried out on 100% of piles on a project

Pile Integrity Testing ensures pile quality before integration into the structure.

Our innovative approach has resulted in the development of the VESTAT fully automated static load testing system. Loading and unloading of the pile together with the recording of load and deflection data is all controlled by computer and this data can be viewed and downloaded remotely. The VESTAT system improves safety, data quality, reduces costs and data delivery time.

Quality Assurance

Quality assurance is maintained through management systems meeting the requirements of BS EN ISO 9001, 14001 and 18001. Our foundation testing services benefit from proven processes and controls for gathering high quality and reliable data.

Strata Geotechnics also offer the following ground investigation services:

  • Parallel Seismic Down Hole Geophysics
  • Pile Instrumentation and Monitoring
  • Pile Integrity Testing using Cross-Hole Ultrasonic Logging
  • Thermal Integrity Profiling
  • Noise and Vibration Monitoring

What are the overall advantages of pile testing?

  • Performance of the piles can be verified
  • Improved safety of foundations
  • Reduces post-construction costs

Why Van Elle?

We aim to provide customers with a differentiated and highly professional service, including:

  • Integrated capability – an end-to-end service from ground investigation to the largest types of foundation engineering
  • The UK’s largest fleet of specialist rigs
  • A dedicated team – we deploy a directly employed workforce of more than 400 highly trained operatives
  • Innovation – we invest 10% of our expenditure in developing new techniques and applications
  • Expertise – we provide more than 25 geotechnical, ground improvement and piling techniques across the Group