The most significant part of this research project involved the design and fabrication of a new model suction pile equipped with pore pressure transducers and strain gages. Also, this pile was double-walled to enable measurements inside and outside the pile. As with the previous research, all tests were performed using samples of prepared sand. Several series of tests were run, including tests performed in both wet and dry sand, tests where the pile was penetrated by pushing and using suction forces, and tests under a variety of tensile loading conditions (static, cyclic, drained and undrained).
Although the installation and pullout mechanisms of suction piles in clay are suspected to be significantly different than those in sand, the study of pile behavior in cohesive soils was beyond the scope of this investigation. The study of suction piles in clay is part of an ongoing research investigation being conducted at U.T. Austin.