Effect of strain rate and strain softening on embedment depth of a torpedo anchor in clay

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    © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved. Torpedo anchors (of diameter ~1 m) are released from a height of 50-100 m from the seabed, achieving velocities up to 35 m/s at impacting the sediment. The strain rates induced in the surrounding soil by this dynamic installation is therefore significantly higher than those associated with installation of other offshore foundations and anchoring systems. The high strain rates enhance the mobilised undrained shear strength compared to that measured by in-situ penetrometer or laboratory tests. This paper reports the results from dynamic installation of a torpedo anchor in strain softening, rate dependent soft clays, quantifying the effects relative to results for ideal Tresca material. The three-dimensional dynamic large deformation finite element (LDFE) analyses were carried out using the coupled Eulerian-Lagrangian approach. The simple elastic-perfectly plastic Tresca soil model was modified to allow strain softening and strain rate dependency of the shear strength. Parametric analyses were undertaken varying the strain rate parameter, the sensitivity and ductility of the soil, and the soil undrained shear strength. Overall, embedment depth for rate dependent, strain softening clays lay below that for ideal Tresca material. Increased strain rate dependency of the soil led to marked reduction in embedment depth, only partly compensated by brittleness. Key results have been presented in the form of design charts, fitted by simple expressions to estimate the embedment depth of a torpedo anchor.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)704-715
    Number of pages12
    JournalOcean Engineering
    Early online date19 Sept 2015
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2015


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