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A Finite Element approach for determining the full load-displacement relationship of axially-loaded shallow screw anchors, incorporating installation effects

Cerfontaine, B. and Knappett, J. and Brown, M. and Davidson, C. and Al-Baghdadi, T. and Sharif, Y. and Brennan, A. and Augarde, C. E. and Coombs, W. M. and Wang, L. and Blake, A. and Richards, D. and Ball, J. (2021) 'A Finite Element approach for determining the full load-displacement relationship of axially-loaded shallow screw anchors, incorporating installation effects.', Canadian geotechnical journal, 58 (4). pp. 565-582.

Abstract

Screw anchors have been recognised as an innovative solution to support offshore jacket structures and floating systems, due to their low noise installation and potential enhanced uplift capacity. Results published in the literature have shown that for both fixed and floating applications, the tension capacity is critical for design but may be poorly predicted by current empirical design approaches. These methods also do not capture the load-displacement behaviour, which is critical for quantifying performance under working loads. In this paper, a Finite Element methodology has been developed to predict the full tensile load-displacement response of shallow screw anchors installed in sand for practical use, incorporating the effects of a pitch-matched installation. The methodology is based on a two-step process. An initial simulation, based on wished-in-place conditions, enables the identification of the failure mechanism as well as the shear strain distribution at failure. A second simulation refines the anchor capacity using soil-soil interface finite elements along the failure surface previously identified and also models installation through successive loading/unloading of the screw anchor at different embedment depths. The methodology is validated against previously published centrifuge test results. A simplified numerical approach has been derived to approximate the results in a single step.

Item Type:Article
Full text:(AM) Accepted Manuscript
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Status:Peer-reviewed
Publisher Web site:https://doi.org/10.1139/cgj-2019-0548
Date accepted:02 June 2020
Date deposited:10 June 2020
Date of first online publication:30 June 2020
Date first made open access:01 July 2020

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