The lateral resistance of pile foundations is typically based on the performance of round piles even though other pile types are used. Due to lack of data there is a certain level of uncertainty when designing pile foundations other than round piles for lateral loading. Theoretical analyses have suggested that square sections will have more lateral resistance due to the increased side shear resistance, no test results have been available to substantiate the contention. Full-scale lateral load tests involving pile shapes such as circular, circular wrapped with high density polyethylene sheeting, square, H, and circular with a corrugated metal sleeve have been performed considering the influence of soil-pile interaction on lateral load resistance. The load test results, which can be summarized as a p-y curve, show higher soil resistance from the H and square sections after accounting for differences in the moment of inertia for the different pile sections. The increased soil resistance can generally be accounted for using a p-multiplier approach with a value of approximately 1.25 for square or 1.2 for H piles relative to circular piles. It has been determined that high density polyethylene sheeting provides little if any reduction in the lateral resistance when wrapped around a circular pile. Circular piles with a corrugated metal sleeve respond to lateral loading with higher values of lateral resistance than independent circular piles in the same soil.



College and Department

Ira A. Fulton College of Engineering and Technology; Civil and Environmental Engineering



Date Submitted


Document Type





laterally loaded piles, shape influence, lateral resistance, full-scale test, LPile, circular pile, H pile, square pile, plastic sleeve, corrugated metal pipe, lateral deflection