The most common type of pile tests are the Dynamic Load Test, Static Load Test, and the Pile Integrity Test.
Dynamic Load Test
The ultimate strength of each pile must fulfill the structural and geotechnical limits for a safe foundation to perform as required. A pile load test is a direct method of determining the ultimate geotechnical capacity of the pile. Dynamic load testing with the aid of Pile Dynamic Analyzer (PDA) is a fast and reliable way to evaluate the bearing capacity of the pile. This testing can help you pick up the right pile type that can withstand the strains on the pile during driving and gives cautious if the pile driving reaches its required length thus avoiding unnecessary long piles. It also provides information about structural integrity, driving stresses, and hammer efficiency. If a dynamic load test is out of the equation, then a static load test can be performed.
Static Load Test
Like the dynamic load test, a Static Load test can be done to evaluate the bearing capacity of the pile. In the Static Load Test, the test load will be applied by hydraulic jacking against Kent ledge (concrete blocks) with the load being measured by calibrated and certified pressure gauges on the selected pile. The pile settlement will be recorded by means of dial gauges registering against a reference beam; optical level may be used to confirm the readings. The pile will be tested by increment loading according to the required standard with the record kept of time, load and settlement. Interpretation of the pile load test will be submitted to assess the pile capacity. The criteria for defining the load of the piles will be, but not limited to the following:
The load at which settlement continues to increases without any further increase of load.
The load beyond which there is an increase in net settlement disproportionate to the increase in load.
To test the load, a minimum load applied during the test will be equal to 1.5 times the working load. So it is important to identify the working load of the pile into consideration.
Pile Integrity Test
The integrity test is an essential part of quality control in either cast-in-place or pre-cast concrete. This is because the possible structural defects from pile installation such as cracks, changes in cross-sections and the like can be detected by the use of this method. It is a Non-distracted Test (NDT) method that can evaluate the continuity and consistency of pile material, length, and cross-sectional area. The standard procedure of the pile integrity test has been in accordance with ASTM D5882.