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Comparison of coupled and decoupled approaches to spudcan-pile interaction

Meyer, V. (ed.), Frontiers in Offshore Geotechnics III: proceedings of the Third International Symposium on Frontiers in Offshore Geotechnics (ISFOG 2015), Oslo, Norway, 10-12 June 2015, CRC Press, Boca Raton, pp. 963-968.

10 Jun 2015
Tho, K.K., Chan, N. and Paisley, J.M.
DOI: 10.1201/b18442-200

Jack-up rigs are commonly used for offshore oil and gas drilling in shallow waters. During the installation of the spudcan foundation, severe stresses may be induced on the piles supporting the adjacent platform. The increasing activity of jack-up rigs in this region accentuates the need for a methodology to quantify the effect of spudcan penetration on adjacent platform piles. The current industry recommended practices published by SNAME and ISO provide limited guidance on the quantitative assessment of spudcan-pile interaction. There are two possible approaches to the assessment of spudcan-pile interaction: (1) a decoupled approach through the application of predetermined free-field lateral soil displacements to a beam-column algorithm with provision for elasto-plastic soil springs, and (2) a coupled approach via a three-dimensional finite element analysis with the simulation of the continuous spudcan penetration process and the inclusion of an embedded pile in the same numerical model. This paper begins with a discussion on the salient features of both approaches. The results from a self-consistent numerical model, which provide the free-field lateral soil displacements and the pile bending moments based on identical geometric and material configurations, are then used as a basis of comparison to determine the equivalency of both approaches. The performances of the coupled and uncoupled approaches are also evaluated against published experimental data.


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