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Driven Pile Analysis

1.0 Introduction

This tutorial demonstrates how to analyze a single driven pile in multiple soil layers under various conditions in RSPile. Before proceeding with the tutorial, make sure you’ve gone through Tutorial 01 - RSPile Quick Start so you’re familiar with the product’s basic functions and features.

Topics Covered in this Tutorial:

  • Multi-layer model
  • Soil types for driven piles
  • Pile properties
  • Export data to Excel

Finished Product:

The finished product of this tutorial can be found in the Tutorial 4 Quick Start – Driven Pile Analysis.rspile2 data file. All tutorial files installed with RSPile can be accessed by selecting File > Recent Folders > Tutorials Folder from the RSPile main menu.

2.0 Model

When the RSPile program is started, a new blank document is already opened, allowing you to begin creating a model immediately.

Note on sign convention: In RSPile, the default ground surface is at depth = 0, depth is positive downwards, and compressive stress is positive.


The Project Settings is where you can change the analysis type, tolerance, number of iterations allowed, and the number of pile segments to be used in the analysis. To open the Project Settings:

  1. Select Analysis > Project Settings (CTRL + J) or click on the Project Settings Icon Project Settings icon in the toolbar.
  2. Project settings - General - Units

  3. Set the Pile Analysis Type to Driven.
  4. Project Settings - Analysis type - Driven

  5. Select Groundwater tab in the project setting.
  6. Check the Groundwater Analysis box.
    • Define the following elevations:
      • Elevation at Time of Drilling (m) = -2
      • Elevation for Restrike/Driving (m) = -2
      • Elevation for Ultimate (m) = 0

    Project Settings - Ground Water

  7. Click OK to close the dialog.
Tip: The default units for RSPile are metric. To change this setting, select the General tab and change the Units.


  1. Select Soils > Define Soil Properties (CTRL + 8) or click on the Define Soil Properties Icon Define Soil Properties icon in the toolbar.
  2. In this dialog you can define the properties related to the Q-z, t-z, and p-y curves. There is a tab for each analysis type (Axial, Lateral, Driven) as well as for datum dependency. The Datum Dependency tab allows users to control linearly varying properties. While you can click through all tabs, you will only be able to edit material information that is relevant to the Pile Analysis Type selected in the Project Settings.

  3. Define the material properties as shown in the table below:
  4. Name

    Unit Weight (kN/m3)

    Soil Type

    Undrained Shear Strength (kPa)

    Adhesion Type

    Skin Friction Angle (degrees)

    End Bearing Angle (degrees)

    Driving Strength Loss (%)

    Yellow square





    General Adhesion for Cohesive Soils (Tomlinson 1979)




    Pink square

    Cohesionless 1








    Green square

    Cohesionless 2








    Orange square

    Cohesionless 3








    Note: There are two ways to define the friction angle in RSPile: manually input the Skin Friction Angle, or check the Use SPT N Values option and enter a table of SPT values from which the friction angle will be calculated.

    Soil properties dialog

  5. Click OK to close the dialog.


RSPile supports multiple boreholes and non-horizontal soil strata. When multiple boreholes are defined, the program will automatically interpolate between the boreholes. In this tutorial, we will model horizontal soil strata with a single borehole. To begin:

  1. Select Soils > Borehole Editor or click on the Borehole Editor icon Edit All Boreholes icon in the toolbar.
  2. The default soil column has a single layer and is located at (0, 0). To change the location, enter coordinates for X and Y. We will keep it (0,0) here.

  3. Click on Insert Layer Below to add another layer below the first. For this tutorial we will do this four times. The name column will fill in by soil property sequence.
  4. Edit borehole dialog

    Layers are defined by thickness by default, but may be defined by top and bottom elevation. This may be changed by toggling Define Layers by Thickness.

  5. Specify the following layer thicknesses:
  6. #



    Top Elevation

    Bottom Elevation







    Cohesionless 1





    Cohesionless 2





    Cohesionless 3




    The Soil Layer Column on the right side of the dialog will update automatically as layer thicknesses are defined.

  7. Click OK to save your input and exit the dialog.


  1. Select Analysis > Optional Capacity Considerations.
  2. In the Optional Capacity Considerations dialog you can define additional parameters that will affect the Ultimate Capacity Analysis.

    Optional Drive Design dialog

  3. Enter the following properties:
    • Design Type = Soft Compressible Soil
    • Depth of Soft Compressible Soil (m) = 1.5
  4. Click OK to close the dialog.


  1. Select Piles > Pile Section Properties or click on the Pile Section with Pencil Icon Define Pile Section Properties icon in the toolbar.
  2. Define Pile Properties dialog

  3. Select Pile Property 1 (by default, the Driven tab will be selected) and enter the properties displayed below:
    • Pile Cross Section = Pile Pipe - Open End
    • Diameter of Pile (m) = 0.508
    • Shell Thickness (m) = 0.00635
  4. Click OK to close the dialog.


The Add Single Pile dialog is where the pile elevation (depth of top of pile) and length are defined. To add a pile:

  1. Select Piles > Add Pile or click on the Sngle Pile with Plus icon Add Single Pile icon in the toolbar.
  2. Edit Pile dialog

  3. Click on the Edit Pile button edit icon for the Pile Type and enter the following properties for Pile Type 1:
    • Name = Pile Type 1
    • Pile Head Elevation (m) = 0
    • Length (m) = 31

    Edit Pile types dialog

  4. Click OK to close the Edit Pile Type dialog. Click OK again to close Add Pile dialog.
  5. You will be prompted to enter the (x,y) coordinates of the new single pile. You may enter the location manually in the bottom right of the screen, or click a point on the Plan View to place it.

  6. Enter Location = (0, 0) and press Enter.
  7. Select Compute.

Notice that the soil column has now updated to reflect the strata.

Results visualization of restrike capacity

3.0 Results


The computation happens automatically when you place the pile, and by default the Restrike Capacity is shown along the length of the pile. Use the Data Type drop down to control what results are shown.

Data type dropdown

Pile Results may be toggled on or off using the View Controls in the sidebar.

View Controls


In the Plan View, right-click on the pile and select Graph pile icon Graph Pile. You will see the following results:

  • Restrike Capacity (Total) vs Depth
  • Driving Capacity (Total) vs Depth
  • Ultimate Capacity (Total) vs Depth


The sidebar contains the Chart Controls, which allow you to select what information is displayed and customize the appearance. The charts that are displayed, as well as the displayed tables, can be changed by right clicking in the chart area and selecting what data you would like to edit in the dropdown menu.

You can use the tabs on the bottom of the Results window to switch between the following sets of results:

  • Driven (Total) Results
  • Driven (Skin Friction) Results
  • Driven (End Bearing) Results
  • Combined Driven Results
  • Results
  • Custom (+)

3.3 Export to Excel

From the Results tab you can export your data to Excel. To do so, click on the Excel icon Export Data to Excel icon in the toolbar.

Each data type is exported to its own Sheet in the Excel file.

4.0 Report Generator

The Report Generator presents a formatted summary of input data and analysis results. Go back to the model view and click on the Report generator icon Report Generator icon in the toolbar. The Report Generator contains a summary of the model input data:

  • Project Summary
  • Soil Layers
  • Soil Properties
  • Pile Section Properties
  • Pile Types
  • Pile Settings

The tool bar contains the Report Generator Controls, which allow you to select what information is displayed, and customize the appearance.

The data can be exported in a variety of ways: it may be manually copied, viewed in a browser, printed, or the information may be saved as a .pdf file. Prior to printing the file, results may be formatted to your specifications.

Click on the Close window icon Close Window icon in the Report Generator toolbar to close the viewer and return to the model view.

This concludes the Driven Pile Analysis Tutorial. You may now exit the RSPile program.

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