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RADISE to partner in Smartpile testing for design-build projects

  
  
  
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January 23, 2012  Today, Smart Structures and RADISE International are pleased to announce a SmartPile™ Design Partnership.  As a full service geotechnical engineering firm and now a SmartPile™ Design Partner, RADISE is uniquely positioned to help Design-Build Project Teams understand and apply SmartPile™ ‘s full dynamic testing to their foundation design projects.  With support from RADISE, Design-Build Teams can now take immediate advantage of a higher design resistance factors allowed by the FDOT, allowing for fewer piles, shorter pile lengths, and the ability to drive those piles more efficiently using this new state of the art technology.

FHWA EDC (Every Day Counts) and the SmartPile™ EDC (Embedded Data Collector)… more than just similar acronyms

  
  
  
FHWA EDC

The Federal Highway Administration Every Day Counts (EDC) Innovation Initiative was introduced in 2010 as a nationwide program intended to “identify and deploy innovative techniques and technology to meet the needs of the 21st century transportation system and economy”.  The application of field-proven, market ready technologies and shortening project delivery are core elements of this initiative and Design Build is a highlighted approach.

Smart Structures Measured Pile Integrity (MPI) identifies and minimizes pile damage

  
  
  
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Concrete pile driving is a high shock, high force process … and high stress for the pile driving crew as well. The tradeoffs made by this team include minimizing the time to drive the pile by using maximized driving forces, with the possibility of breaking the pile. The familiar tradeoff is quality versus time. On a pile with no dynamic testing instrumentation, the only quality assurance is the driving criteria, pile inspector blow counts, and visual inspection.  

The hope is that the driving criteria limits the possibly of pile damage… but most of the pile is not visible, and what is happening at the tip of the pile which is well out of the visual inspection capability of the entire crew, is, at best, a BIG guess. Driven foundation quality control should not be one based on hope…   
 
Externally mounted gages can help, but they slow the driving process down and provide no real visibility to the pile tip.  SmartPile™ EDC addresses this problem by making the Pile the sensor.  With gages at the top AND the tip, EDC can monitor stresses and report impending failures.  Tip status has proven particularly critical when punching through various soil and rock strata.

The SmartPile™ Measure Pile Integrity metric uses readings from the Top and Tip of the pile (compression as well as pile pre-stress) and wave dynamics to report and flag the operator when stresses to the pile exceed established limits.  This allows the drive to progress at the fastest speed possible without damaging the pile.  
 
In the event that the tip has encountered problems (i.e. loss of pile pre-stress as indicated by MPI), the crew can now limit any further damage to the pile.  MPI, along with pile capacity, allows the crew to quickly and safely drive a pile to capacity while minimizing stress and physical pile damage.  This process has been successfully demonstrated in Florida on several projects.  

Only the SmartPile™ EDC system can provide this level of monitoring as it is the only Structural Surety System that embeds gages directly into the pile.  

Economist Article discusses Present and Future of Smart Structures

  
  
  
System viewA recent article in the Economist puts sensors, monitoring, wireless and intelligent infrastructure into the spotlight:

“Superstructures Engineering: Adding sensors and other devices to bridges, tunnels and buildings can turn them into “smart structures” capable of sensing and, in some cases, even responding to problems”

-- was published on December 9, 2010 and provides a great overview of the current state of the practice in structures monitoring:

To read the full article: http://www.economist.com/realarticleid.cfm?redirect_id=17647603

The article highlights some of the practical challenges associated with building and bridge monitoring and advances made to address these challenges. 

SmartPile® Research points to further Construction Cost Savings

  
  
  
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At the September 2010 Florida Geotechnical Research in Process (GRIP) Conference in Gainesville, several presentations around SmartPile® deployments in Florida added to the performance and costs savings potential of full foundation testing.  

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