The mechanical behavior of partially saturated soils can be different from that of fully saturated soils. It has been found that for such soils, changes in suction do not have the same effect as changes in the applied stresses, and consequently the effective stress principles is not applicable.
A finite element analysis was carried out on a single pile with a diameter (0.6 m) and (12) m length embedded in fully and partially saturated clayey Iraqi soils within Baghdad city. The partially saturated parameters were calculated using laboratory methods; the filter paper method was utilized to estimate the soil water characteristic curve (SWCC) from which the H-Modulus function was obtained. The program (SoilVision) was used to make a fit of the SWCC. The finite element programs SIGMA/W and SEEP/W are then used in the analysis. A parametric study is carried out and different parameters are changed to study their effects on the behavior of partially saturated clay. These parameters include the degree of saturation, depth of water table and shear strength of clay. The study reveals that when the soil becomes partially saturated by dropping water table at different depths with different degrees of saturation, the pile capacity increases. It is concluded that the change in the water table level and the degree of saturation has a great effect on the behavior of partially saturated clay. In this work, it is found that due to dropping of water table and contribution of matric suction (i.e. negative pore water pressure), the pile capacity in partially saturated soil is approximately (3-5) times higher than the capacity of piles in the same soil under saturated conditions