Thirty years of experience with the wave equation solution based on the method of characteristics


Middendorp. P.






Seventh International Conference on the Application of Stress Wave Theory to Piles, Kuala Lumpur


The method of characteristics, as an accurate solution of the wave equation, has a long history of the application. This paper will describe a brief history of the method and the author's experiences with the method of characteristics over a period of 30 years. Developments in the Netherlands, especially around the 1970s are described.

In the 1970s Heerema started to research the dynamic behavior of soil during driving. HBG (Hollandsche Beton Groep) started the development of the Hydroblok impact hammer. The Hydroblok was a high tech hammer based on nitrogen cushioning. HBG extended the theoretical solution of the wave equation (method of characteristics) with a straightforward theoretical solution for the shaft friction along the pile.


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