Case study: Industrial Terminal of the South Port of Aqaba

Ports and Harbours
Location: Aqaba, Jordan

Aqaba static pile test

The project

The Industrial Terminal of the South Port of Aqaba is situated in the southern part of Jordan at the northeast end of the Gulf of Aqaba. It’s a gateway for international trade and has been undergoing major redevelopment and expansion. The G-Octopus team were engaged by builder, UTE TR-PHB JORDAN, to carry out dynamic and static load tests on the steel tubular piles at the site of the new bulk load jetty.

Our challenge

As part of the design and construction of the new jetty, the G-Octopus team were required to perform dynamic and static load tests, both onshore and offshore as well as Pile Driving Monitoring during driving. The piles used were different sizes with varying pile tips – one open ended, one spin fin and one conical 75% closed end. The team were required to use their expertise to determine the pile axial bearing capacity, measure the dynamic pile stresses during pile driving and investigate driving system performance. It was also important to maintain the structural integrity of the pile and prevent any damage to the pile tips during driving. This allowed our client to select the pile configuration the most appropriate in terms of best axial capacity developed.

Our solution

The G-Octopus team supplied all of the necessary equipment and were on site to prepare each of the piles on the day with all instrumentation, cables and sensors, ensuring they were in the correct position and would avoid any damage during driving, while still achieving reliable results.

As the client needed to reliably justify the bearing capacity of several piles quickly, cost effectively and according to the contractual Standard, a dynamic load test was carried out on selected driven piles both onshore and offshore. The pile capacity at the end of driving was then estimated using signal matching technique (CAPWAP®).

The G-Octopus team then carried out two static tests, one onshore and one offshore, using loads as defined by the client which included three loading cycles on the head of the pile. During the test, the ambient temperature was recorded as well as pile head settlement using four dial gauges. Results of these static load test were compared to the dynamic ones, to prove to the end client (once more) the full ability of the dynamic test to measure the axial capacity as obtained by static tests.

This process allowed our client to carry out only dynamic testing on most of the production piles offshore, with full satisfaction in terms of project progress and cost savings.

The impact

By carrying out both dynamic load tests and static load tests on site, we were able to validate the pile capacity “as installed” by using CAPWAP® analysis and ensure it was in line with the contractual Standards. The team were also able to provide recommendations for design and installation of future foundation piles in the area, and construction was able to progress with just dynamic tests, resulting in minimal impact on the construction schedule. Overall, the result was a very successful campaign for our clients which allowed them to develop their design of the jetty in a more informed manner.

Services Included:

Pile Information:

  • Diameter: 9.14 m
  • Thickness: 21 mm
  • Length: up to 70 m, variable depending on position
  • Penetration: up to 50m, variable depending on position.

Equipment Used:

  • Dial gauges
  • Pile Driving Analyzer
  • Strain transducer
  • Accelerometer
  • Main cables
  • Connection cables
  • Data loggers
  • Load cells
  • Dial gauges
  • Acquisition units.

For more information take a look at our article on the pros and cons of static or dynamic load testing.

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