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Technical paper: Sensitivity and accuracy of the pile wave equation

George E Ramey and Alan P Hudgins. This paper was first published in GE’s October 1977 edition.

The dynamic wave equation provides a means of evaluating pile capacity that is mathematically well-founded, and probably provides the most realistic mathematical model available for depicting actual behaviour of the hammer-pile-soil system. Numerical integration of this equation, with the aid of a digital computer, appears to be the most rational analytical means of evaluating pile capacity. This has been accomplished by several investigators and excellent correlations between predicted and measured failure loads have been observed.

A computer program solution of the wave equation was utilised in the investigation being reported to adjudge (i) the sensitivity of program generated P-n curves to the program input soil parameters, and (ii) the accuracy of the program in predicting pile capacity. 

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