Cyclic Degradation Of Pile Foundations For Offshore Wind Turbines

Kirsch, Fabian
Organization: Deep Foundations Institute
Pages: 8
Publication Date: Jan 1, 2011
Cyclic behaviour of axially loaded piles has been an issue since studies revealed that the capability to transfer skin friction into the ground is highly depending on the level and the number of load cycles the pile is subjected. It has been shown that degradation of skin friction due to axial cyclic loading leads to accumulating displacements and a severe reduction in pile capacity. In Germany the DIN 1054 as well as the Recommendations of the Working Group 2.1 ?Piles? of the German Geotechnical Society (EA-Pfähle) require the consideration of cyclic loading for the assessment of both the displacements and the capacity. Up to now no broadly accepted design method exists, which enables the engineer to give a reliable judgement on the pile capacity under axial cyclic loading and the displacements respectively. Instead numerous design charts make it possible to distinguish between stable and instable loading levels in order to ensure a design on the safe side. A newly developed design approach based on engineering models is presented which delivers a calculation algorithm for the remaining axial pile capacity after a defined number of load cycles to allow for the analysis of stability of the foundation. Furthermore the computation of accumulating displacements is made possible. The results are verified with pile load tests undertaken at Dunkirk, France and showed that the axial capacity after cyclic loading calculated with the newly developed design approach predicts actual capacity with an accuracy of ±20%.
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