Offshore and Coastal Structures
Pile Driving Analysis by the Wave Equation
Click here for answers to questions
being asked on the class assignments
1) Watch an introductory video
regarding Wave Equation Analysis for driven offshore piles by
The video was recorded some time ago when such things weren't nearly the
quality we get today, so you will probably want to download the corresponding
class notes to follow the video discussion.
for the class notes. Also,
please read through the classic paper on Pile Driving Analysis by the Wave
Equation by E.A.L. Smith.
Click here for Smith's paper.
Notes for class 1:
The appropriate time interval for use in different
materials, with a pile segment length around 8 to 10 feet, is given in Smith's
paper. See reference papers "Z" below, page 1165.
Total number of time intervals to run ~ length of pile *
4 (up and down twice) / (speed of wave * time interval used). So for a 500
foot long steel pile:
= 500 feet*4/(16,700 ft/sec * (1 sec/4000 iterations))
~ 500 iterations
You will note me messing around looking for information
in a couple of tables in the video. These tables are listed in the Data
and Help files below.
Class 2 - Watch a video regarding setting up
cases to run using the Wave Equation by
here for the corresponding class notes.
Notes for class 2:
Click here for homework assignments:
Note, this is a .doc file so look for Word to try and open it. Due dates
are listed below:
Part 1 is due on 3/1/18 - Please email your solution in a
SINGLE DOCUMENT to
Lowery@tamu.edu using CVEN 686 Pile Driving
Homework Part I as the subject line. Multiple files submitted will be
discarded. If you haven't been able to get with me to answer
questions, I will take them a few days late without penalty until we can set
up an appointment. L^3.
Part 2 is due on 3/8/18 - Again, please email your solution
in a single document to me using CVEN 686 Pile Driving Homework Part II as
the subject line. Same as for Part 1, until I can get all of your
questions answered. L^3.
How to make everything into a single document - in
the worst case, simply print out a hard copy of your problem input and
computer output in text format, hard copy. Then print out your .doc
files describing your report as a .doc file, hard copy. Then make .pdf
files out of any sketches and drawings you made. Finally, put all that
paper in order and run it through the printer, resulting in a .pdf single
document and turn that in.
Questions? Email me at
or see my office hours at
Ready to try the program? See "The Microwave
Programs" below, under Student Resources
MICROWAVE - A computer program to study the behavior of piles during driving
Written by: Lee L. Lowery, Jr., PhD, P.E.
Department of Civil Engineering
Texas A&M University
College Station, Texas 77843-3136
ADDITIONAL STUDENT RESOURCES:
Data and help files
- Hammer data
Notes on hammers
- Helmet data
- Cushion properties
- Blank input calculation forms (PDF)
- Typical pile model
Input Forms (XLS) for printing only -
these will neither
run nor form data sets.
Example input data set
for printing only - will not run or form data sets
- Example output set for something (ASCII text
- Problem to work in class
Computer programs for running the wave equation:
- Get from professor in class on a thumb drive.
The Microwave programs zip file and other supporting
programs including Editpad and DOSBox. Note: Do not left-click
on this link. Right click on it and then click on "Save Target As".
Then save it in a folder on your hard drive, or on a thumb drive. It
will save 686wave.zip in your folder or thumb drive. Then go to that folder and
double-click on 686Wave.zip. It will make a "686Wave - Copy" folder
with the files in it. Double click on that folder to access the files.
Then copy those files and folders to a working folder of your choice, I
suggest C:\686Wave. Microwave (MW88.exe or MW87.exe - both the same) and other useful programs are
in there, including Editpad (an ASCII editor for generating datasets) and
DOSBox (a 32 bit program emulator. You should also put your data in
that folder and run everything from there.
- This is a Microsoft Word version of the user's manual, including all
figures. Simply right-click on this file, click on "Save Target As", and put it in a
folder on your computer.
- MWMANUAL.htm - HTML version of the user's manual.
- MWMANUAL.pdf - The user's manual in pdf format,
courtesy of Don C. Warrington who maintains an
excellent site regarding
pile driving analysis
by the wave equation - a must read for serious practitioners. Don also has written an
excellent paper regarding a closed form solution to
limited cases for the wave equation.
- How to DOSBox - How to run Microwave
(MW87.exe) using DOSBox, and a video
on its use.
- DOSBox -
They also have Mac OS X, and other versions. Take your pick.
The only one I have above is for Windows. DOSBox is necessary to
run the wave equation when using 64 bit computers. Click on "Downloads" to download the DOSBox installer you need. Put it in a known directory on your hard drive. Then run it
from there. I would suggest that you make a directory on your hard drive
called "C:\686Wave". Put the DOSBox installer there, and
download the MW88.exe program and all of your data files there. It
makes it far easier to run everything.
- EditPad Lite
- An excellent free ASCII text
editor useful in generating wave equation data sets. Included in the
686Wave.zip package above.
Hammer information sites:
- Don C. Warrington's excellent site
- The original E.A.L. Smith paper: Pile-Driving
Analysis by the Wave Equation, ASCE Paper No. 3306, Vol. 127, 1962, Part I
- The original Samson, Hirsch and Lowery paper:
Computer Study of Dynamic Behavior of Piling,
ASCE Paper No. 3608, Aug. 1963
- Lowery's dissertation: Dynamic Behavior of
Piling, Texas A&M University, May 1967
- A Comparison of Dynamic Pile
Driving Formulas with the Wave Equation - 1968
- Driving Practices for Prestressed
Concrete Piles - 1966
- Impact Load-Deformation Properties
of Pile Cushioning Materials - 1966
- Pile Driving Analysis - State of
the Art - 1969 - THE User's Manual for running MW87, Pile Driving
Analysis by the Wave Equation
- Applications of
Wave-Equation Analysis to Offshore Pile Foundations -
OTC Paper 1055 - 1969
- Increasing the Ability to
Drive Long Offshore Piles - OTC Paper 1064 - 1969
- Jonggeun Choe
and Hans Juvkam-Wold Paper on Bottom-Hammering of Piles
- Pile Drivability Analysis - Fenske, Carl
S. and Hirsch, T.J. What happens when you hit sand lenses?
8th International Conference on the Application of Stress Wave Theory to
Application of Stress Wave Theory to Piles One of a series.
- Driving pipe piles - potential for plugging during driving,
CVEN 686 - Historical Papers - Note: These papers were collected back in the
use in research on pile driving. If you are the author
of any of these papers and feel that it should not be included for student use in this historical
summary, please email me at Lowery@tamu.edu
and I will remove it.
CVEN 686 4-18-11 - Class presentation
back on 4-18-11