Graduation Year


Document Type




Degree Granting Department

Civil Engineering

Major Professor

Austin Gray Mullins, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Rajan Sen, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Ashraf Ayoub, Ph.D.


rapid load test, Frustum Confining Vessel, model testing, influence zone, damping coefficient, pyrotechnics


Despite advancements in the analysis of statnamic load testing data, there exists uncertainty with underlying procedural assumptions. Two such assumptions are that the system mass and soil-related damping coefficient remain constant throughout the loading event. These assumptions are the culprit of aberrant predictions of the static capacity at small displacements when the overall displacement is large. An exploration of the assumptions may validate prior existing test results as well as solidify the current analysis process. However, an exploration could also reveal an overestimation or underestimation of portions of the predicted static load responses.

The testing program outlined herein consists of a two-phase sequential agenda devoted toward the preparation and familiarization of a new laboratory statnamic device. The first phase involves the development of user guidelines for accurately targeting a desired statnamic test, and the second incorporates the guidelines into a preliminary testing regime specifically targeted at determining a suspected strain-dependant statnamic damping coefficient. The steps taken in this thesis are intended to launch future research endeavors toward obtaining a better understanding of the statnamic damping coefficient.