Centrifuge modelling of monopiles subjected to lateral loading

Document Type : Article


School of Civil Engineering, College of Engineering, University of Tehran, Tehran, Iran.


Monopiles are the most common foundation type used for fixed-bottom substructures in offshore wind installations. In an offshore environment, the predominant load is cyclic, which affects the stiffness and deformation properties of foundation systems, especially monopiles. To investigate the effect of cyclic loading on a short (rigid) steel monopile, a set of displacement-controlled ηg laboratory tests were designed. This paper presents the procedure and results of eight centrifuge tests investigating monopile behaviour when subjected to lateral monotonic and cyclic loading. The general trend of monotonic response is in good agreement with the results of similar experimental studies, however, much softer behaviour was observed compared to the equivalent Winkler model on API p-y curves. The cyclic tests focused on the stiffness and deformation properties of a soil-pile system under fatigue loading. Increases, decreases or no changes in secant stiffness were observed depending on the regime of the applied cyclic displacements which are in contradiction to current design methodology where only cyclic degradation is assumed. Influence of load cycling on cyclic bending moments along the pile shaft was discussed and found to be of minor significance


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