About the research
A project recently completed for the Iowa Department of Transportation investigated the contributions of concrete encasements of steel H-piles used for bridges, which have historically not been considered in the design process. The initial reason for the project was to determine the remaining capacity of a pile when subjected to scour, leaving bare the uncased portion of a pile. A tool was developed to calculate capacity and a subsequent laboratory investigation was completed to validate the pile capacity assessment tool. The study concluded the pile capacity is greater than what has been otherwise calculated. As a secondary result, consideration has been given to revising the capacity calculations of new piles especially in fully-encased pile bents. This project aims to identify the unbraced height limits of steel H-piles when fully-encased.