Accuracy Assessment of Semi-Automatic Measuring Techniques Applied to Displacement Control in Self-Balanced Pile Capacity Testing Appliance

Sensors (Basel). 2018 Nov 21;18(11):4067. doi: 10.3390/s18114067.


Static load tests of foundation piles are the basic method for the designing or verification of adopted design solutions which concern the foundation of a building structure. Preparation of a typical test station using the so-called inverted beam method is very expensive and labor-intensive. The settlement values of the loaded pile are usually recorded using accurate dial gauges. These gauges are attached to a reference beam located in close proximity to the pile under test, which may cause systematic errors (difficult to detect) caused by the displacement of the adopted reference beam. The application of geodetic methods makes it possible to maintain an independent, external reference system, and to verify the readouts from dial gauges. The article presents an innovative instrumentation for a self-balanced stand for the static load test made from a closed-end, double steel pipe. Instead of typical, precise geometric leveling, the semi-automatic measuring techniques were used: motorized total station measurement and terrestrial laser scanning controlled by a computer. The processing of the acquired data made it possible to determine the vertical displacements of both parts of the examined pile and compare displacements with the results from the dial gauges. On the basis of the excess of the collected observations, it was possible to assess the accuracy, which confirmed the usefulness of measuring techniques under study.

Keywords: LIDAR; bi-directional static load test; motorized total station; terrestrial laser scanning; vertical displacements.