Principal investigator: Jonathan Hubler

University: Villanova University

Industry partners: Mission Critical Solutions

This is a collaborative proposal between Villanova University (VU) and Mission Critical Solutions (MCS). Dr. Jonathan Hubler from Villanova University brings expertise in geotechnical and foundation engineering and MCS is a Pennsylvania-based company that manufacturers steel fin pile foundations. Steel fin pile foundations utilize fins on the side of the piles to develop significant frictional resistance between the soil and the finned pile. The fins serve the purpose of increasing lateral and torsional resistance of the pile. Typical scenarios with large lateral and torsional loads can be found in foundations for power transmission lines, roadway signage, solar panels, wind turbines, and marine applications. Many of these loading scenarios are common in Pennsylvania. Steel fin pile foundations are a rather new product to the market though and case history data of applications and performance are limited compared to conventional alternatives such as steel H-piles and concrete piles. Therefore, the goal of this study is to provide new data for steel fin pile foundations engineering performance and load capacity compared to the conventional alternatives. As part of this study, field testing of MCS steel fin pile foundations will be performed at an existing project site (I-95 in Philadelphia, PA). Load tests will be carried out to evaluate the static, lateral, and tension capacities of the steel fin piles, and results will be compared with data for existing piles installed at the I-95 site. The results of the load test data and comparison with existing alternatives will provide MCS with significant new data to further validate their product, leading to increased use and sales of their steel fin pile foundations in Pennsylvania.