Investigations of pile–soil interaction under thermo-mechanical loading

Yi Rui, Mei Yin*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Citations (Scopus)


Thermo-active piles that couple load bearing with ground source heat pump systems are one of the new technologies in geotechnical engineering. This paper investigates the pile–soil interaction behaviour of a thermo-active pile in overconsolidated London clay by conducting a thermo-hydro-mechanical finite element analysis using an advanced soil constitutive model. Negative and positive excess pore pressures are computed around the pile during cooling and heating, respectively. However, the difference in the radial effective stress acting on the pile–soil interface between the cooling and heating stages is small, and the pile–soil interaction is governed by the shear mobilization associated with thermally induced cyclic movements of pile expansion and contraction. During the first cooling stage, the shear stress at a small portion in the upper part of the pile reaches close to the yield values, which leads to an additional settlement about 3 mm from the original mechanical load–induced settlement of 2 mm. The shear stresses in subsequent heating and cooling cycles are much smaller than the ultimate shear stress values, because of the heavily overconsolidated nature of the London clay.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1016-1028
Number of pages13
JournalCanadian Geotechnical Journal
Issue number7
Early online date14 Nov 2017
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2018


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