Offshore Technology Research Center


OTRC Project Summary

Project Title:

Investigation of Axial Tensile Load Capacity of Suction Piles

Prinicipal Investigators:

Roy Olson


National Science Foundation

Completion Date:

January, 1993

Final Report ID#

B40(Click to view final report abstract)

The research project was initiated by conducting a thorough literature review of suction piles and related topics.  An instrumented prototype suction pile and test facility was designed and constructed.  Experiments were performed with the prototype pile making measurements of pore pressures inside the pile and vertical displacements during rate-controlled pullout tests.  Tensile load tests were also performed with the pile t op unsealed to obtain an insight into the development of side shear and to the relative effects the development of negative pore pressures have on tensile load capacity.  The prototype pile was installed by pushing and by suction to study the effect of soil disturbance on the load capacity of the pile.  In addition, a finite difference program was developed in an attempt to model the pore pressure in the pile.

The project provides details of the test apparatus including the prototype pile, test tank, test sand, loading system, instrumentation and data acquisition system.  The development of the finite difference program used to analyze the pore pressures within the suction pile is described.  The testing program and summary of the test results and analysis is presented along with a discussion of tests results.

Related Publications: Olson, R.E., “Axial Load Capacity of Steel Pipe Piles in Sand,” Proceedings, Offshore Technology Conference, Houston, Texas,  OTC Paper No. 6419, May, 1990.

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