Aspects géotechniques des pieux de fondation énergétiques

Abstract : Energy pile efficiency has been tested and validated by numerous studies from environmental and energy-related points of view until now. Nevertheless, energy pile technology is still more or less unknown and rarely applied in construction, especially in France compared to other European countries. The chief reason for this lack of attention might be the limited knowledge of the impact of the coupled thermo-mechanical loading on the behaviour of the pile and that of the surrounding soil. This thesis aims to study the geotechnical aspects of energy piles through physical modelling and some numerical investigations. A physical model is developed in order to better identify the soil/pile interaction under thermo-mechanical loading. The model is made up of a small pile equiped with a heat exchanger loop embedded in compacted soil. The pile was once installed in dry sand and then in saturated clay; it was then loaded mechanically and was subjected to thermal cycles. The effect of mechanical load value, number of thermal cycles and soil type is studied. The results show the appearance of irreversible settlements during thermal cycles, whose quantity increases as the pile head load increases. Total pressure in the soil close to the pile surface does not change by cooling and heating, while total pressure below the pile increases gradually as thermal cycles proceed. This is in accordance with the permanent downward movement of the pile within thermal cycles. Experiments also show the evolution of axial force profiles with temperature, axial force in the pile increases by cooling and decreases by heating. In another part of the experimental work, we focused on the soil/pile interface. The shear behaviour of the soil (the same as the soils used above) and that of the soil/concrete interface was evaluated at different temperatures. To do this, a conventional shear apparatus was equipped with a temperature control system. Soil (and soil/concrete interface) was subjected to a rather low range of stress. Thermal consolidation was performed according to a special protocol. It was observed that the soil friction angle and cohesion do not change considerably relative to temperature. The numerical study was initiated by simulating existing tests in the literature on energy piles through a finite element code well-known to engineers, applying a simplified method. The thermal load was simulated by imposing volumetric strains calculated from the coefficient of thermal expansion of the material on the pile. The method successfully simulates the behaviour of some full-scale energy piles in terms of axial strain and pile head displacement. The results highlight the important role played by the pile thermal volume change on the mechanical behaviour of the energy pile under various thermo-mechanical loadings. In the second stage, another numerical code with the possibility of including temperature effects was used for modelling the tests formerly performed on the physical model. Thus, compared to the first numerical attempts, the soil thermal volume change is also taken into account. The numerical results were compared with the experimental ones obtained from physical modelling. It was deduced that the numerical model could simulate correctly the pile behaviour under purely mechanical loading. Also, simulating thermo-mechanical tests, a good estimation of heat conduction in the soil was achieved numerically. Regarding the mechanical behaviour of the pile under thermal cycles, the numerical model adequately predicts the gradual ratcheting of the pile as observed in the experiments. However in terms of axial force distribution in the pile, the results from numerical modelling are different from the physical one
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Neda Yavari. Aspects géotechniques des pieux de fondation énergétiques. Autre. Université Paris-Est, 2014. Français. ⟨NNT : 2014PEST1160⟩. ⟨tel-01149483⟩

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