Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository

Thesis Format

Integrated Article


Master of Engineering Science


Civil and Environmental Engineering


Prof. M.Hesham El-Naggar


An efficient foundation system, paddled H-piles (PHP), is proposed to support sound walls subjected to wind loading. It comprises a steel H-pile fitted with specially configured steel plates (paddles). The lateral responses of the single-paddled (SPHP) and double-paddled (DPHP) installed in sand and clay are investigated through a comprehensive assessment of the foundation performance through a full-scale lateral load testing program alongside extensive numerical modeling, including three-dimensional (3D) nonlinear finite element (FE) analysis and two-dimensional (2D) finite difference (FD) analysis. The comparison between the calculated and measured responses of the PHP demonstrates that the developed numerical models accurately depict the response of the PHP under lateral loading. The validated numerical models are then used to evaluate the influence of the paddles’ configuration on the lateral response and capacity of PHPs. The effect of PHP on the surrounding soil is also investigated, and the extent of the soil influence zone is evaluated considering different plate width to pile flange width ratio (Wp/Wf). Finally, the effect of soil parameters (i.e., soil consistency, unit weight, and friction angle) on the lateral response and capacity of the PHP is assessed. Based on the outcomes of the field tests and numerical analysis, optimal geometrical parameters for paddles are proposed. The study reveals that adding plates contributes significantly to the lateral capacity of the post and reduces the maximum bending moment in the foundation and in the center of the H-pile. Additionally, the lateral capacity of the PHP increases as the plate width or length increases. The result of the parametric study indicates that the properties of soil along the top 5-6 Wp have a significant effect on the lateral response of the proposed H-pile.

Summary for Lay Audience

Sound Walls are the most common solutions to minimize the noise around sensitive areas (i.e., hospitals, and schools) and buildings. The sound wall system is exposed mainly to oscillatory lateral loads due to wind, which must be supported by its foundation. Concrete piles are commonly used to support sound walls because of their high resistance; however, they are unsustainable because of large cement amounts used in their construction. Standard steel piles known as H-piles (I-shaped cross section) provide environmentally friendly and can be installed quickly, which reduces overall project cost and construction time. However, their lateral resistance is typically low.

To amend the lateral stiffness to suitable support sound walls, they were modified by fitting one or two steel paddles to enhance their resistance. Paddled H-piles (PHPs) design has been tested in Clay and in Sandy soils and advanced numerical modeling program was conducted to simulate their behavior. The numerical model is to evaluate the performance of PHPs and to optimize their design for various applied wind loads and soil conditions.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Available for download on Monday, December 01, 2025