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A new framework for analysis of laterally loaded piles


A new analysis framework is presented for calculation of the response of laterally loaded piles in multi-layered, heterogeneous elastic soil. The governing differential equations for the pile deflections in different soil layers are obtained using the principle of minimum potential energy after assuming a rational soil displacement field. Solutions for the pile deflection are obtained analytically, while those for the soil displacements are obtained using the finite difference method. The input parameters needed for the analysis are the pile geometry, soil profile and the elastic constants of the soil and pile. The method produces results with accuracy comparable to that of a three-dimensional finite element analysis but requires much less computation time. The analysis can take into account the spatial variation of soil properties along vertical, radial and tangential directions.