Research on Optimal Design of Spudcan Structures to Ease Spudcan-Footprint Interactions in Clay and Comparative Analyses with Different Measures
In order to ease consequences of spudcan-footprint interactions during jack-up rigs reinstalling in the vicinity of an existing seabed footprint, three new types of spudcan shapes, that is, a lotus-shaped spudcan with six circular holes, a flat-bottomed spudcan, and a concave-shaped spudcan, were proposed to perform an optimizing study of the spudcan structures, and the effectiveness of them were analyzed comparatively with other different measures. Firstly, 3D Large Deformation Finite Element (LDFE) analyses were carried out using the Coupled Eulerian-Lagrangian (CEL) method in the commercial finite element package ABAQUS. After calibrating the validity of the numerical calculation model against existing centrifuge test data and LDFE results, the differences in interaction mechanism between the novel spudcans and the generic spindle-shaped spudcan were studied when penetrating near an existing footprint with an eccentric distance of 0.5D, and the horizontal range of plastic deformation of the disturbed soils, the inclination angle of the spudcan and the offset distance of the pile legs were analyzed comparatively as well. The results show that the proposed novel spudcans can mitigate the maximum horizontal sliding force and the maximum bending moment at the top of the pile leg obviously, compared with those of the generic one, which were reduced by 32.59%, 22.47%, 28.18%, and 26.32%, 12.88%, 18.02%, respectively. It also can be seen that all novel structures can ease the adverse consequences of spudcan-footprint interactions effectively, and can improve the in -place stability of the spudcan as well. Finally, three possible measures in mitigating interactions of the spudcan-footprint were contrasted, that is, the novel spudcan (represented by the lotus-shaped spudcan with six holes), stomping method, and perforation drilling method. The results show that all of them can reduce adverse impacts induced by interactions of the spudcan-footprint, and also can improve the in-place stability of the spudcan during reinstallation. In addition, among them, according to the effect of reducing the additional stress of the spudcan, the effectiveness of them can be listed as follows: perforation drilling near an existing footprint > the lotus-shaped spudcan with six holes > stomping method. In terms of the vertical bearing capacity of the spudcan, the lotus-shaped spudcan with six holes can improve it as much as 16.33% compared with the spindle-shaped structure due to the particularity of the structure. While reducing the continuity and strength of soil foundations, the perforation drilling measure leads to the decrease of the vertical bearing capacity of the spudcan by 13.07%. It can be concluded that all the three measures have merits and demerits, so the relevant construction environment conditions and engineering practice should be fully considered when selecting measures to deal with interactions of the spudcan-footprint.
Keywords:Spudcan-footprint interaction, novel spudcan shape, VHM curves, stomping, perforation drilling
- Vol. 29 No. 1 (2022)
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