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Title:
PILE ASSEMBLY AND METHOD OF FORMING SAME
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2010/130009
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
An improved pile assembly (10) and a method for forming an improved pile assembly (10) enables old or existing piles (11) to be efficiently repaired and reused. The method includes positioning a connection sleeve (13) adjacent an existing pile (11), wherein the connection sleeve (13) includes an open top section (15) for receiving a replacement pile (12) and an open bottom section (16) for receiving the existing pile (11). The replacement pile (12) is then moved longitudinally toward the existing pile (11).

Inventors:
WATT, Norman, Ross (c/- 9 Production Court, Toowoomba, Queensland 4350, AU)
Application Number:
AU2010/000570
Publication Date:
November 18, 2010
Filing Date:
May 14, 2010
Export Citation:
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Assignee:
WATT, Norman, Ross (c/- 9 Production Court, Toowoomba, Queensland 4350, AU)
International Classes:
E02D5/64; E02D5/22; E02D37/00
Foreign References:
US5813800A
US20030085482A1
Other References:
'Timber Bridge maintenance Manual, Part Two - Component maintenance' DEPARTMENT OF MAIN ROADS, QUEENSLAND GOVERNMENT, [Online] February 2005, pages 106 - 109 Retrieved from the Internet: [retrieved on 2010-07-16]
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
FISHER ADAMS KELLY (Level 29, 12 Creek StreetBrisbane, Queensland 4000, AU)
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Claims:
Claims

1. A method for forming a pile assembly, the method comprising: positioning a connection sleeve adjacent an existing pile, wherein the connection sleeve includes an open top section for receiving a replacement pile and an open bottom section for receiving the existing pile; and moving the replacement pile longitudinally toward the existing pile.

2. The method of claim 1 , wherein the connection sleeve comprises an internal partition that divides the top section and the bottom section.

3. The method of claim 2, wherein the top section has a diameter that is equal to a diameter of the bottom section.

4. The method of claim 1 , wherein positioning the connection sleeve is performed manually or by use of a suitable supporting framework.

5. The method of claim 1 , wherein moving the replacement pile is performed manually or by the use of a pile-driver or hammer.

6. The method of claim 1 , wherein the replacement pile is connected to the existing pile by an interference fit between the top section of the connection sleeve and the replacement pile and by an interference fit between the bottom section of the connection sleeve and the existing pile

7. The method of claim 1 , wherein a grout, concrete or other settable material is placed between the connection sleeve and either the replacement pile or the existing pile.

8. The method of claim 1 , wherein one or more connection bolts are extended transversely through either the top section of the connection sleeve or the bottom section of the connection sleeve.

9. The method of claim 1 , further comprising attaching the replacement pile to a surrounding structure.

10. The method of claim 9, wherein the surrounding structure comprises one or more support beams or pile caps.

11. The method of claim 9, wherein the replacement pile is attached to the surrounding structure using a mortice and tenon arrangement.

12. The method of claim 9, wherein the replacement pile comprises a flat top surface that is attached to one or more support beams of the surrounding structure by the use of a connection plate and an associated fastener.

13. The method of claim 1 , wherein the replacement pile comprises a fibre composite material.

14. A pile assembly, comprising: a connection sleeve including a top section, a bottom section, and a partition between the top section and the bottom section; an existing pile positioned inside the bottom section; and a replacement pile positioned inside the top section.

15. The pile assembly of claim 14, wherein the top section has a smaller diameter than a diameter of the bottom section.

16. The pile assembly of claim 14, wherein the top section has a diameter equal to a diameter of the bottom section.

Description:
PILE ASSEMBLY AND METHOD OF FORMING SAME

Field of the Invention This invention relates generally to pile assemblies, and in particular to a method of repairing an old or damaged pile by forming a new pile assembly using a connection sleeve.

Background It is well known that any building of especially concrete structure must have a very strong foundation and underground structural base that supports the building. Such a strong foundation is traditionally set by driving and embedding into the ground piles or upright posts of wood, concrete or steel by use of a pile-driver. Factors such as the size, capacity and scope of the building, the condition of the soil immediately below the building, and space required for rigging all need to be taken into consideration before commencing installation of a piling structure in the ground. As opposed to a shallow foundation, by employing piles a deep foundation is used to transfer the load of the building to the deeper, stronger layer(s) of the soil, which have a high bearing capacity and thus can effectively support the building.

Conventional methods of reinforcement or repair of existing pile structures are described in US Patent 4,023,374 which include (i) using a wrap-around sleeve of polypropylene or other waterproof material and securing the sleeve in place by use of plastic strapping bands which are tensioned about the sleeve at various elevations; or (ii) placing a split full height metal sleeve about the pile to be repaired and securing the metal sleeve to the existing pile by use of steel strapping bands. Another alternative method (iii) is to use a preformed moulded fibreglass reinforced plastics repair sleeve, which has one vertical seam consisting of internally directed interlocking re-entrant bends, which together establish an interlocking tongue and groove joint. The joint is maintained effective by self tapping screws, which are engaged by steel closure clips or strips. The sleeve after assembly is centred about the pile undergoing repair and a continuous space which exists between the sleeve and the pile is filled with a suitable grout, which after setting or hardening prevents unfastening of the seam.

Other conventional methods of pile repair and rehabilitation include erection of concrete or epoxy grout formwork, wherein a concrete or Fibreglass Reinforced Polymer (FRP) jacket is installed to an existing pile whose structural integrity has been compromised and after removal of the formwork remains in place surrounding a part of the existing pile. A summary of these conventional methods is described in "Maintenance, Repair and Rehabilitation of Marine Structures" a chapter in "Post Engineering" by Gregory P Tsinker published by John Wiley and Sons 2004. Reference also may be made to US Patent 3,364,575 which describes use of a plastics jacket for repairing underwater piles that have been corroded by wave action at the waterline or by a tidal zone. The jacket has a cylindrical wall having annular corrugations on its external surface. The cylindrical wall has a longitudinal cut along its length to exhibit a pair of adjacent opposing edges. A seal is placed between the opposing edges. Opposite the longitudinal axis there is located a V shaped cut through the corrugations to the plastics material of the wall. Banding is provided to pull the opposing edges into a tight relationship and trap the seal therebetween. The V shaped cut enables the jacket to be opened and placed around a damaged pile. Thus in summary of the prior art it will be appreciated that rehabilitation or repair of damaged piles or pile structures mainly concerns the use of jackets or sleeves formed from plastics material, sometimes with the use of formwork, which is expensive, time consuming and labour intensive. There is therefore a need for an improved pile assembly and an improved method of forming a pile assembly. Object of the Invention

It therefore is an object of the invention to provide a pile assembly and a method of forming a pile assembly or repairing damaged piles or pile structures, which assembly and method are simple, effective, and relatively inexpensive.

Summary of the Invention

According to one aspect, the invention includes a method for forming a pile assembly, the method comprising: positioning a connection sleeve adjacent an existing pile, wherein the connection sleeve includes an open top section for receiving a replacement pile and an open bottom section for receiving the existing pile; and moving the replacement pile longitudinally toward the existing pile.

Optionally, the connection sleeve comprises an internal partition that divides the top section and the bottom section.

Optionally, the top section has a diameter that is equal to a diameter of the bottom section.

Optionally, positioning the connection sleeve is performed manually or by use of a suitable supporting framework. Optionally, moving the replacement pile is performed manually or by the use of a pile-driver or hammer.

Optionally, the replacement pile is connected to the existing pile by an interference fit between the top section of the connection sleeve and the replacement pile and by an interference fit between the bottom section of the connection sleeve and the existing pile.

Optionally, a grout, concrete or other settable material is placed between the connection sleeve and either the replacement pile or the existing pile.

Optionally, one or more connection bolts are extended transversely through either the top section of the connection sleeve or the bottom section of the connection sleeve.

Optionally, the method further comprises attaching the replacement pile to a surrounding structure.

Optionally, the surrounding structure comprises one or more support beams or pile caps.

Optionally, the replacement pile is attached to the surrounding structure using a mortice and tenon arrangement.

Optionally, the replacement pile comprises a flat top surface that is attached to one or more support beams of the surrounding structure by the use of a connection plate and an associated fastener.

Optionally, the replacement pile comprises a fibre composite material. According to another aspect, the invention is a pile assembly, comprising: a connection sleeve including a top section, a bottom section, and a partition between the top section and the bottom section; an existing pile positioned inside the bottom section; and a replacement pile positioned inside the top section. Optionally, the top section has a smaller diameter than a diameter of the bottom section.

Optionally, the top section has a diameter equal to a diameter of the bottom section.

Brief Summary of the Drawings

In order that the invention may be readily understood and put into practical effect, reference will now be made to preferred embodiments as illustrated with reference to the accompanying drawings, wherein like reference numbers refer to like elements, in which: FIG 1 is an exploded view of a pile assembly constructed by the method of the invention;

FIGs 2 to 3 represent perspective views from different angles of an assembled view of the pile assembly shown in FIG 1 ;

FIGs 4 to 5 show a cross sectional view of the connection sleeve used in the method of the invention in construction of the pile assembly shown in FIGs 1 , 2 and 3 as well as a perspective view respectively;

FIG 6 shows a sectional view of a new pile connected to an existing pile by the connection sleeve as illustrated in FIGS 1 , 2 and 3;

FIGs 7 and 8 show alternative methods of attachment of the pile assembly shown in FIGS 1 , 2 and 3 to structure located above the pile assembly; FIG 9 shows another embodiment of the invention wherein a new pile is connected to an old or existing pile without use of a connection sleeve;

FIG 10 shows a schematic view of another variation in how existing structure such as a structural beam may be attached to a top end of a fibre composite pile; FIG 11 shows a perspective view of a connection sleeve driven into the ground, according to another embodiment of the present invention;

FIG 12 is a side view of another form of connection sleeve for use in the invention;

FIG 13 is a cross-sectional view of the connection sleeve shown in FIG 12 attached to an existing pile in the form of a wood stump; and

FIG 14 is a cross-sectional view of the connection sleeve shown in FIG 12.

Elements of the invention are illustrated in concise outline form in the drawings, showing only those specific details that are necessary to understanding the embodiments of the present invention, but so as not to clutter the disclosure with excessive detail that will be obvious to those of ordinary skill in the art in light of the present description.

Detailed Description In this patent specification, adjectives such as first and second, upper and lower, top and bottom, etc., are used solely to define one element or method step from another element or method step without necessarily requiring a specific relative position or sequence that is described by the adjectives. Words such as "comprises" or "includes" are not used to define an exclusive set of elements or method steps. Rather, such words merely define a minimum set of elements or method steps included in a particular embodiment of the present invention. In this specification the word "pile" is defined broadly to mean any type of pile, post, stump, pole, power pole, telephone pole, or vertical support.

In the drawings in FIGS 1 , 2 and 3 there is shown a pile assembly 10 having an old or existing pile 11 in the form of a stump connected to a new replacement pile 12 by a connection sleeve 13. The replacement pile 12 has a protrusion 9 at an upper end thereof used for connecting to surrounding structure as shown in FIG 8. The existing pile 11 which may be a remnant of an old pile has connection sleeve 13 fitted over it. The sleeve 13 can be connected to existing pile 11 in any suitable fashion such as by being bolted to existing pile 11 or attached to existing pile 11 by a suitable adhesive, cement or glue. The connection sleeve 13 can have varying diameters to fit a particular diameter of the existing pile 11 and may be attached thereto by interference fit without use of a specific connection means, but preferably use is made of a connection means such as fasteners or adhesive. The connection sleeve 13 may be manually fitted to existing pile 11 or may be fitted using a pile-driver or hammer.

The connection sleeve 13 has an internal partition or horizontal wall 14 shown in FIGS 4 to 5 and the replacement pile 12 may also be connected to the connection sleeve 13 manually without the need for a pile-driver or hammer. The replacement pile 12 may have a bottom surface that abuts or is located closely adjacent to partition 14 as shown in FIG 6. The connection sleeve 13 as shown in FIGS 4 to 5 may have a top section 15 which has a constant diameter to fit any diameter of the replacement pile 12 and the connection sleeve 13 may also have a bottom section 16 having a diameter which may be the same or larger than the diameter of the top section 15 and substantially correspond to the diameter of the existing pile 11.

FIG 6 shows a cross sectional view of the connection sleeve 13 between replacement pile 12 and existing pile 11 , and it will be noted that grout 17 or other settable material may be used within bottom section 16 so as to reinforce the connection between the existing pile 11 and the replacement pile 12. Suitably existing pile 11 is spaced from partition 14 by a gap or space 18 and there is also provided a connection bolt 19 and corresponding nut 19A which fits through corresponding apertures 21 and 22 in connection sleeve 13 and a corresponding passage 23 in existing pile 11. In a variation of the above it is possible that existing pile 11 may also abut partition 14 surrounded by grout 17. In regard to the FIG 6 embodiment, it will be appreciated that there may be two or more coach-type bolts utilised, each coming from opposite sides so that there is no need to align the connection sleeve with the existing pile 11.

FIGS 7 to 8 show alternative methods of attachment of pile assembly 10 to structure located above or surrounding a top end of pile assembly 10. In FIG 7 there is shown a single support beam 20 which connects adjacent pile assemblies 10, wherein the existing piles 11 have been omitted for convenience. There is also shown in FIG 7 opposed connection plates 21 , 22, and connection bolts 23 having corresponding attachment nuts 24 and 25. There is also provided a pair of joiner caps 26 and 27 which are fitted over the top ends of each replacement pile 12 to facilitate attachment of connection plates 21 and 22 to support beam 20. Each of connection bolts 22 and 23 are aligned with corresponding attachment apertures 28 and 29 and aligned internal passages 30 located in support beam 20. In FIG 8 in a variation of the arrangement shown in FIG 7 there are provided a pair of opposed support beams 2OA and 2OB interconnected by fasteners 31 and 32 and corresponding attachment nuts 32 and 33. Each of fasteners 31 and 32 extend through aligned apertures 34, 35 and 36 as shown. In a further modification of the connection system shown in FIG 7, there are provided joiner caps 26A an 27A, which each provide an upstanding protrusion 9 described above in FIG 1.

In another embodiment of the invention as shown in FIG 9, connection sleeves 13 are omitted and a replacement pile 12A is attached to an existing pile 11 A to form pile assembly 10A. A pile-driver or other suitable method is used to drive the replacement pile 12 against the existing pile 11A, with connection bolt 37 being passed through apertures 39 in replacement pile 12A and a corresponding passage (not shown) in old pile or existing pile 11 A, and thus connection being completed by the use of attachment nut 38. It will also be appreciated that grout or adhesive may be used also in addition to connection bolt 37 and attachment 38 to attach old pile or existing pile 11 A to replacement pile 12A. The embodiment of the invention shown in FIG 9 is useful where it is desired to strengthen or reinforce an existing pile structure and there is no restriction in access to the existing pile structure so that new piles 12A can be freely attached to old piles or stumps 11 A as shown.

On the other hand, the use of a connection sleeve 13 as shown in the first embodiment in FIGS 1 to 8 is useful where it is necessary to cut out or remove part of an old stump or existing pile 11 and subsequently attach connection sleeve 13 to the remainder of the existing pile 11. Then a replacement pile 12 may be attached to connection sleeve 13 and elevated to the height of the existing pile 11. Grout may then be incorporated in connection sleeve 13 as shown in FIG 6.

In the embodiment as shown in FIG 9, it will be appreciated that replacement pile 12 may be open ended at its lower end and simply driven down over the existing pile 11 so that the existing pile 11 does not have to be removed. It will also be appreciated in another arrangement that use may be made of connection sleeve 13 at an upper end of pile assembly 10A shown in FIG 9 to complete attachment of pile assembly 10A to adjacent structure such as support beams 20 or 2OA or pile caps (not shown).

In FIG 10 there is shown another variation in attachment of a pile assembly 10B to a structural beam 40 wherein structural beam 40 has a transverse passage 41 adapted to receive a bolt or other fastener 42 which also extends through aligned passages 43 and 44 on each side of recess 45 which is adapted to retain beam 40 as shown. In this case, a replacement pile 47 of the pile assembly 10B has flat top surfaces 48 and 49 on either side of recess 45, which form together with flat top surface of beam 40 a continuous top planar surface of pile assembly 10B.

In FIG 11 there is provided a perspective view of a connection sleeve 50, according to another embodiment of the present invention. The connection sleeve 50 is shown inserted into the ground 51 , where such insertion may occur by an appropriate method which may include, for example, forming holes 52 by driving or pushing a mandrel downwardly into the ground which has a stem with a cross sectional area smaller than a drive foot on its lower end.

Another method of forming holes 52 is by use of subjecting a suitable probe to the action of a reciprocatable drive such as a pile driver or by the use of suitable drilling apparatus. One could also use an auger or use a tapered bar attached to a bucket of a loader which is then driven into the ground. Holes 52 may also be formed manually.

Once the holes 52 have been excavated to an appropriate depth, connection sleeve 50 may then be driven into holes 52 by a pile-driver or by placing connection sleeve 50 into hole 52. The connection sleeve 50 may also be provided with a stabiliser bar 53 which may be located transversely to the longitudinal axis of connection sleeve 50. Any other appropriate ground anchoring device could be utilised.

It will be appreciated that connection sleeve 50 may be considerably longer than connection sleeves 13 described in previous embodiments and may extend from 0.5 - 3.0 metres in length. The connection sleeve 50 is also provided with a partition 54 which may be located at any suitable location intermediate each end of connection sleeve 50. Such location will depend on various factors including the diameter of the replacement or new pile 57 or requirements specific to the installation of replacement or new piles 55 or 57. Reference is made in FIG 11 to different new piles 55 and 57 which may be inserted into the top open end 56 of connection sleeve 50. The new pile 55 or 57 may then be attached to connection sleeve 50 in a manner similar to that shown in FIG 6 whereby a bottom end of pile 55 or 57 may abut partition 54. The sleeve 50 may be retained in place by concrete or grout, if desired. Pile 55 may be formed from timber and pile 57 may be formed from plastics material or fibre composite material, if desired.

The method of installation of a post or upright shown in FIG 11 can be used for building any suitable structure such as a plurality of spaced posts to form a fence or any suitable upright of a structure. In relation to the FIG 11 embodiment, it will now be appreciated that the invention can be directed to replacement of poles, posts or any upright included in a structure or building which includes jetties, docks and the like.

It therefore will be appreciated that the method of the present invention can be employed to repair damaged or old piles, and the pile assembly so formed is simple and efficient in practice and does not require the use of formwork or specially constructed repair sleeves such as are used with the prior art.

A method for forming a pile assembly according to the present invention thus includes: a) positioning a connection sleeve adjacent an existing pile, wherein the connection sleeve includes an open top section for receiving a replacement pile and an open bottom section for receiving the existing pile; and b) moving the replacement pile longitudinally toward the existing pile.

Reference may also be made to another embodiment of the invention as shown in FIGS 12, 13 and 14, wherein FIG 12 is a side view of another form of connection sleeve 60 for use in the invention; In FIG 12 there is shown connection sleeve 60 having a top section 61 of lesser diameter than bottom section 62, and a tapered section 63 interconnecting top section 61 and bottom section 62. There is also shown a pair of bolts 64 and 65 extending through bottom section 62.

In FIG 13 there is shown top section 61 having a circular internal passage 66 for receipt of a replacement pile, internal partition 67 and bottom section 62 also having a circular internal passage 68 which is occupied by a wood stump or existing pile 69. The connection sleeve 60 also has an external wall 70 formed by outer laminates during manufacture of connection sleeve 60. There is also provided filler or grout 71. During manufacture of connection sleeve 60, two cup like members being the precursor of top section 61 and bottom section 62 are bonded at their respective bases and it will be appreciated from the foregoing that these cup like members may be of the same or different diameter. The solid junction formed by the respective base wall of the top cup like member and the top wall of the bottom cup member corresponds to internal partition 67. Subsequently, a layer of filler 71 is applied around internal partition 67 and laminates corresponding to an outer wall 70 of connection sleeve 60 are applied to an external surface of each cup like member. There also may be inner top laminates 73 applied to an internal surface of circular passage 68 and inner bottom laminates 74 applied to an outer surface of internal partition 67. FIG 14 shows a further side view of connection sleeve 60.

From the foregoing it will be appreciated that the connection sleeves 13, 50, 60 used in the method of the invention may be of substantially a single diameter as shown in FIGS 1 - 11 or be tapered as shown in FIGS 12 - 14. Thus, in this regard the diameter of bottom section 62 may be greater than top section 61 or less than top section 61. Thus, for example, the bottom section 62 may have a variable diameter of from 300 - 450mm corresponding to use of a top pile (not shown in FIGS 12 - 14) which has a diameter of 300mm.

It will also be appreciated that in regard to either the piles or the connection sleeves for use in the invention that their cross-sectional shape does not have to be circular and thus may be rectangular, ovular, square or hexagonal or any other desired or specified shape.

It is also desirable in regard to the connection sleeves 13, 60 that the top hollow section 15 shown in FIGS 4, 5 and 6 of connection sleeve 13 and top hollow section 61 of connection sleeve 60 have a length that is at least equal to the diameter of a replacement pile.

The above description of various embodiments of the present invention is provided for purposes of description to one of ordinary skill in the related art. It is not intended to be exhaustive or to limit the invention to a single disclosed embodiment. As mentioned above, numerous alternatives and variations to the present invention will be apparent to those skilled in the art of the above teaching. Accordingly, while some alternative embodiments have been discussed specifically, other embodiments will be apparent or relatively easily developed by those of ordinary skill in the art. Accordingly, this patent specification is intended to embrace all alternatives, modifications and variations of the present invention that have been discussed herein, and other embodiments that fall within the spirit and scope of the above described invention.