pile foundation CONSTRUCTION
A pile is basically a long cylinder of a strong material such as concrete that is pushed into the ground to act as a steady support for structures built on top of it.
Pile foundations are used in the following situations:
When there is a layer of weak soil at the surface. This layer cannot support the weight of the building, so the loads of the building have to bypass this layer and be transferred to the layer of stronger soil or rock that is below the weak layer.
When a building has very heavy, concentrated loads, such as in a high rise structure, bridge, or water tank.
Pile foundations are capable of taking higher loads than spread footings.
There are two fundamental types of pile foundations (based on structural behaviour), each of which works in its own way.
End Bearing Piles
In end bearing piles, the bottom end of the pile rests on a layer of especially strong soil or rock. The load of the building is transferred through the pile onto the strong layer. In a sense, this pile acts like a column. The key principle is that the bottom end rests on the surface which is the intersection of a weak and strong layer. The load therefore bypasses the weak layer and is safely transferred to the strong layer.
Friction piles work on a different principle. The pile transfers the load of the building to the soil across the full height of the pile, by friction. In other words, the entire surface of the pile, which is cylindrical in shape, works to transfer the forces to the soil.