System reliability for bridge bent foundations on driven piles



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Modern day bridge foundations are often designed for the maximum loading condition on a single member and each following foundation member often follows the same design. A 4-pile and a 2-pile foundation system were analyzed with an upperbound plasticity model in an attempt to approximately represent the system capacity. A sensitivity analysis was performed to measure the change in the ultimate system capacity by altering the parameters used to define individual pile capacities. The load and the resistance are considered to be normally distributed and are each characterized by a mean and a standard deviation. A first order reliability method was used to measure and account for any system redundancy in the foundation system by predicting a probability of failure based on the load and resistance of the system. Based on the most heavily loaded pile and the analysis performed on the 2-pile and 4-pile foundation systems, the probabilities of failure are lower for the system than for the single pile. This would bring reason to state there is some measurable redundancy in the basic systems analyzed where these systems would once be considered to be non-redundant systems.