GROUP has been well accepted as an useful design tool for analyzing the behavior of piles in a group subjected to both axial and lateral loadings. The program was developed to compute the distribution of loads (vertical, lateral, and overturning moment in up to three orthogonal axes) applied from any multiple locations in the pile cap to piles arranged in a group. The piles may be installed vertically or on a batter and their heads may be fixed, pinned, or elastically restrained by the pile cap. The pile cap may settle, translate, and/or rotate and is assumed to act as a rigid body.
Users can also input external nonlinear curves of axial load versus settlement for each pile in the group. Those external curves can be obtained by the user based on load tests or using the Ensoft programs APILE and/or SHAFT.
GROUP introduces several enhancements: Use of multiple load cases representing concentrated loads at the pile cap and/or distributed lateral load at the piles; Concentrated loads at the pile cap may be defined at any position; Distributed lateral loads at the piles can be defined by local or global axes; Load combinations can be specified by the user and are set by load factors applied at the defined load cases; Maximum and mini-mum envelopes may be computed for both load cases and load combinations; GROUP v8 can provide flexibility and stiffness matrices (in 2D or 3D models) for different levels of loading.
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