Dynamic Pile Testing on Marine Piles, Southend Pier – June 2012
Following a fire which destroyed Southend Pierhead in 2005, a new development is underway which will accommodate a multipurpose cultural centre and caf. The building is to be located on the existing cast iron piled section of the Pier Head and the single storey building is designed with a wave form room to reflect its location of the sea.
Testconsult were commissioned by Kier London to carry out dynamic pile load testing to determine whether the existing cast iron piles would safely carry the proposed increase in loadings. Testconsult were also asked to carry out integrity testing to determine embedded depths.
In order to facilitate the testing the piles were isolated from the remaining structure by removing all diagonal bracings and all load bearing beams were lifted off the pile caps. A steel plate was inserted between the deck beams directly over the test positions to enable the dynamic impact from Testconsult’s one tonne drop system to be transferred directly to the piles, using a specially constructed lifting frame. Twelve piles were tested to a test load of 160KN.
The piles were instrumented with strain gauges and accelerometers and all data processed using the SIMBAT method to determine the static performance up to the required test load.
The centre is due to open later in the summer just in time for the arrival in the resort of the Olympic torch relay.
For more information on dynamic pile load testing click here