Numerical study of pull-out capacities of dynamically embedded plate anchors

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    © 2014, Can. Geotech. J. All rights reserved. Dynamically embedded plate anchors (DEPLAs) are a type of offshore anchor that combine the capacity advantages of vertically loaded plate anchors with the installation benefits of dynamically installed anchors. DEPLA capacity under monotonic loading conditions in clay has been investigated through centrifuge and field tests. In this paper, the monotonic capacity of DEPLAs in normally consolidated clay was studied using a three-dimensional large deformation finite element approach based on frequent mesh regeneration. Results from the numerical simulations were validated by comparison with centrifuge test data and existing numerical and analytical solutions for circular and rectangular plates. The effect of anchor embedment depth, anchor roughness, fluke (or plate) thickness, plate inclination, and DEPLA geometry were investigated in a parametric study where soil was prescribed to remain attached to the DEPLA base. The findings indicate that for a horizontal anchor subjected to vertical loading, most DEPLA geometries exhibit deep behaviour at an embedment ratio of 2.5, but that this embedment ratio is dependent upon the plate inclination, with vertical plates requiring the highest embedment depth for a deep localized failure mechanism. At a shallow embedment depth equal to one plate diameter, the reduction in capacity factor as the plate inclination changes from horizontal to vertical is 23.4%, compared with 1.3% at an embedment depth equal to four plate diameters. Plate roughness and fluke thickness are shown to have a minimal effect on the anchor capacity factor for vertical loading. Analyses that considered the breakaway (no tension) at the DEPLA base demonstrated that the anchor capacity factor approaches the no breakaway value as the embedment depth increases and as the soil strength (relative to the effective unit weight of the soil) decreases. The paper proposes a simple means of approximating the anchor capacity factor for breakaway conditions, bysummingthe capacity factor in weightless soil (which is unique for a given DEPLA geometry) and the normalized overburden pressure.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1263-1272
    JournalCanadian Geotechnical Journal
    Issue number11
    Publication statusPublished - 2014


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