Wharves or piers with ordinary (not fused, plugged or having a seismic release mechanism) batter piles typically have a very stiff response when subjected to lateral loads in the direction of the batter. The structure often maintains most of its initial stiffness all the way to failure of the first row of batter piles. Since batter piles most likely will fail under a Level 2 seismic event, the following method may be used to evaluate the post-failure behavior of the wharf or pier:
- Identify the failure mechanism of the batter pile-deck connection (refer to Section 3104F.4.7) for typical failure scenarios) and the corresponding lateral displacement.
- Release the lateral load between the batter pile and the deck when the lateral failure displacement is reached.
- Push on the structure until subsequent failure(s) have been identified.
When the row of batter piles fail in tension or shear, stored energy will be released. The structure will therefore experience a lateral displacement demand following the nonductile pile failures. If the structure can respond to this displacement demand without exceeding other structural limitations, it may be assumed that the structure is stable and will start to respond to further shaking with a much longer period and corresponding lower seismic demands. The wharf structure may therefore be able to sustain larger seismic demands following the loss of the batter piles than before the loss of pile capacity, because of a much softer seismic response.
The area under the pushover curve before the batter pile failures is compared to the equivalent area under the post failure pushover curve (refer to Figure 31F-7-14). If no other structural limitations are reached with the new displacement demand, it is assumed that the structure is capable of absorbing the energy. It should be noted that even though the shear failure is nonductile, it is expected that energy will be absorbed and the damping will increase during the damage of the piles. The above method is, therefore, considered conservative.
Following the shear failure of a batter pile row, the period of the structure increases such that equal displacement can be assumed when estimating the post-failure displacement demand. The new period may be estimated from the initial stiffness of the post-failure system as shown in Figure 31F-7-14. A new displacement demand can then be calculated in accordance with Section 3104F.2.