Recent Advances in the Centrifuge Modelling of Offshore Foundations

Mark Cassidy, Yinghui Tian, Conleth O'Loughlin, Christophe Gaudin, Britta Bienen

Research output: Chapter in Book/Conference paperConference paper


This paper presents some recent advances in apparatus and methods for geotechnical centrifuge testing of offshore foundations at the University of Western Australia. We operate a 3.6 m diameter fixedbeam machine capable of accelerating modelling experiments of 200 kg up to 200 times Earth’s gravity and a 1.2 m drum centrifuge that can operate at up to 400 gravities. This paper describes innovative actuators developed to measure combined vertical, horizontal and moment loads in our beam and drum centrifuges. These allow independent movement in three degrees of freedom. A description is also provided of the application of sophisticated load control algorithms that can follow complex and irregular cyclic loadings from offshore storms on geotechnical infrastructure, and test results for an unburied pipeline are presented. Recent visualisation and buckling experiments on offshore pipelines are discussed. The last centrifuge advancement discussed is the use of piezoelectric and MEMS accelerometers to measure the rapid penetration of deep water dynamically installed anchors. As we look to the future we are commissioning a new 10 m diameter beam centrifuge rated at 240 g-tonnes. This paper provides details of this new centrifuge, which will be ready for use in 2015, and describes the benefits to offshore foundation modelling that this larger centrifuge will provide.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication7th Chinese Symposium on Physical Modeling in Geotechnics
Publication statusPublished - 2013
Event7th Chinese Symposium on Physical Modelling in Geotechnics - Hangzhou, China
Duration: 27 Mar 201327 Mar 2013


Conference7th Chinese Symposium on Physical Modelling in Geotechnics


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