Field Study of Composite Piles in the Marine Environment

The regional state-of-the-practice for the construction of pile foundations, fender systems and earth retention systems in the marine environment is to use materials such as timber, steel and concrete. These materials are highly susceptible to attack by marine borers, corrosion, and decay. A possible alternative to traditional piling systems is the use of composite piles constructed of fiber-reinforced polymers (FRP) or high-density polyethylene (HDPE). Composite piles have advantages over traditional piles including complete resistance to marine borer attack and corrosion. The primary objectives of this research were to improve the understanding of the performance of composite piles as a fendering system in the marine environment (1) during installation and (2) during normal fendering conditions. Technical issues studied include the short-term stresses generated during hard driving conditions and short-term behavior and displacement due to lateral impact loading. This was accomplished through two separate field studies in which concrete-filled FRP pipe piles and steel reinforced plastic piles were installed at a residential site in Old Greenwich, CT and along a pier at Fort Wetherill in Jamestown, RI. The piles in Old Greenwich were driven to failure with a hydraulic hammer and PDA and CAPWAP analyses were performed. The piles at Fort Wetherill were impacted with an 85 ton vessel at low speeds and the dynamic response of the piles was measured using accelerometers and displacement transducers. The results of this research provide useful field data for designers and researchers who want to evaluate the effectiveness of composite piles as fender piles.

  • Record URL:
  • Corporate Authors:

    University of Rhode Island, Narragansett

    Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering
    Narragansett, RI  United States  02882

    University of Rhode Island, Kingston

    Transportation Center, Carlotti Administration Building
    75 Lower College Road
    Kingston, RI  United States  02881
  • Authors:
    • Baxter, Christopher D P
    • Marinucci, Antonio
    • Bradshaw, Aaron S
    • Morgan, Russell J
  • Publication Date: 2005-7


  • English

Media Info

  • Media Type: Digital/other
  • Edition: Final Report
  • Features: Appendices; Figures; References; Tables;
  • Pagination: 68p

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01006509
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Report/Paper Numbers: URITC FY01-03
  • Contract Numbers: URI 536153
  • Files: UTC, NTL, TRIS
  • Created Date: Oct 27 2005 3:18PM