Date of Award


Document Type

Campus Access Thesis


Civil and Environmental Engineering


Civil Engineering

First Advisor

Paul Ziehl


The behavior of precast prestressed piles in cast-in-place (CIP) reinforced concrete bent caps subjected to seismic loading is not well understood. Current standard SCDOT connection details require the plain embedment of the pile into the bent cap one pile diameter with a construction tolerance of ± 6 inches. To better understand the moment capacity and ductility of these connections, full-scale tests have been conducted at the University of South Carolina structures lab. Test specimens consisted of 18 in. diameter square piles cast in representative CIP bent cap segments. Two interior pile specimens and one exterior pile specimen with 18 in. (457 mm) embedments have been tested to failure. Results indicate that the interior specimens achieve sufficient displacement ductility but did not reach the calculated ultimate capacity of the pile. The exterior specimen was inadequate both in terms of displacement ductility and moment capacity due to localized damage within the pile cap. Preliminary results from the testing of a third interior specimen with a 26 in. (660 mm) embedment length show adequate moment capacity and ductility performance. Details of the tests and the results are presented along with relevant conclusions. Additional interior and exterior specimens will be tested in the future along with a reduced-scale shake table test.


© 2010, Shawn Paul Sweigart