Physical modelling of the push-over capacity of a jack-up structure on sand in a geotechnical centrifuge

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    Offshore jack-up drilling rigs are subjected to loading from wind, waves, and current in addition to their self-weight. This applies combined loading in all six degrees-of-freedom in space on the footings. Although the foundation–soil interaction is crucial to the overall response of a jack-up structure, current state-of-the-art models to predict jack-up footing behaviour, developed using data from single footing experiments, have not been validated for such multi-footing systems under general combined loading. This paper introduces the experimental development of a three-legged model jack-up and loading apparatus designed to investigate the rig’s response — in particular the footing load paths — under combined loading in three dimensions. Push-over experiments were performed in a geotechnical beam centrifuge on silica sand. Experimental results of two tests on dense sand are discussed, highlighting differences in response and mode of failure depending on the loading direction of the jack-up. The importance of three-dimensional modelling is also stressed by experimentally demonstrating that the symmetric load case is not necessarily conservative.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)190-207
    JournalCanadian Geotechnical Journal
    Issue number2
    Publication statusPublished - 2009

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