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60 Ansichten6 SeitenDrag Anchor Fluke

Aug 11, 2015

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Drag Anchor Fluke

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60 Ansichten6 SeitenDrag Anchor Fluke

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Centre for Offshore Foundation Systems, The University of Western Australia, W.A., Australia

ABSTRACT: Finite element analysis of the fluke-soil interaction behaviour of drag anchors in undrained soil

has allowed calculation of plastic yield loci for characterisation of fluke failure states. The yield loci produced

are examined in terms of soil deformation mechanisms and kinematics and are incorporated into a novel

method for drag anchor design.

1 INTRODUCTION

The movement to offshore developments in deeper

water has led to increasing reliance on offshore

structures which are tethered to the seabed rather

than resting upon it. In addition, these are often required to be anchored in soft, normally consolidated

silts and clays.

One common seabed mooring system is the drag

anchor and chain system (Figure 1). The anchor is

lowered to the seabed surface and then installed into

the seabed by dragging the chain laterally. Due to the

shape of the anchor, kinematics govern so that it

must embed during displacement and hence significant holding capacity may be achieved. Most holding capacity is achieved by soil resistance against the

fluke, but the kinematics are controlled by the length

of the shank and the orientation of the shank with

respect to the fluke.

The use of drag anchors in offshore mooring systems requires knowledge about the anchors holding

capacity, embedment depth and drag length required

for mobilisation of the working load. These all vary

for different soil conditions and drag anchor designs.

Historically, drag anchor design has been empirically based (Vryhof Anchors, 1990). More recently,

approaches have been introduced which seek to predict the entire drag trajectory of an anchor from installation to mobilisation of working load capacity

(Neubecker and Randolph, 1996; ONeill and

Randolph, 1997; Thorne, 1998). These approaches

are based on combined kinematic and equilibrium

analyses. They use basic geomechanics principles to

find the geotechnical resistive loads acting on the

anchor in the equilibrium solution and simple assumptions about the anchor movement in the kinematic solution.

The above design approaches use empiricism for

solution (for example, the anchor form factor f,

Neubecker and Randolph, 1996). There appears to

be room for non-empirical prediction methods using

basic soil mechanics.

When drag anchor holding capacity is approached

in soft undrained soils, soil failure consists of local

plastic flow around the fluke and shank. Thus, the

behaviour will be independent of the orientation of

the anchor with respect to the soil surface and so

analysis of the soil around the fluke will lead to insight about the general anchor behaviour.

This paper presents analysis of the soil around

anchor flukes using finite element analysis. The

work allows investigation of the anchor under general loading conditions and the behaviour has been

characterised in terms of a plastic yield envelope.

The findings can be used to validate previous design

methods (e.g. Neubecker and Randolph, 1996) or

alternatively will lead to novel numerical design

methods using the yield envelope approach which

are introduced briefly.

2 PLASTICITY CONCEPTS AND THE YIELD

LOCUS

Bransby & ONeill: Drag anchor fluke-soil interaction in clays

1

as spudcan and shallow foundations have used plasticity concepts to express the bearing capacity of

foundations under combined vertical (V), horizontal

(H) and moment (M) loading (Murff, 1994; Tan,

1990; Martin, 1994; Bransby and Randolph, 1998).

A plastic yield locus is introduced which expresses the combination of V-H-M loads that result

in foundation failure. This can be given as a mathematical expression, f where f(V,H,M) = 0 at yield, or

shown graphically (Figure 2). Not only may the yield

locus be used to calculate footing capacity under

combinations of loads, but may also form a plastic

potential (g(V,H,M)) for description of plastic vertical, horizontal and rotational displacements of the

footing at failure (Figure 2). Indeed, plasticity theorems (e.g. Chen, 1975) show that the condition of

normality or associated flow will exist for undrained

failure conditions when the soil also remains attached to the footings.

Consider a drag anchor deep in undrained soil

(Figure 3). Loads exerted on the anchor can be expressed in terms of forces parallel (H) and perpendicular (V) to the fluke and moment load (M) about

any one particular reference point on the fluke.

Combinations of these loads (H, V and M) will

cause failure of the anchor with consequent anchor

movements parallel and perpendicular to the fluke

and rotationally about the same reference point.

Because the anchor is deep, soil failure will be

fully constrained and local to the anchor whatever

the direction of the load. Thus, the failure loads H, V

and M will be independent of anchor orientation,

and so the local load and displacement definitions

introduced in Figure 3 may be appropriate generally

for all failure conditions. In addition, the deep condition ensures that there is no soil-anchor detachment. Thus, plastic displacements will be governed

by normality to the failure yield locus, f(H,V,M) and

so determination of the failure locus also allows prediction of anchor displacement directions at failure.

Anchor failure loads (H, V and M) will be a result

of very complicated three-dimensional soil displacements around a complex drag anchor geometry.

To examine this in detail, full 3D analysis would be

required and the detailed 3D geometry of the anchor

would have to be incorporated. This would be extre-

Bransby & O Neill: Drag anchor fluke-soil interaction in clays

drag anchor.

complex mechanistic behaviour may be understood

by examining a single part of the drag anchor system: the fluke. This will provide a large proportion

of the holding capacity of the anchor and govern

much of the anchor kinematics.

The fluke-soil interaction behaviour is examined

using the finite element analysis below and the results are expressed as plastic yield loci. Methods of

utilising the yield locus in anchor design are introduced and discussed in following sections.

3 FINITE ELEMENT ANALYSIS

The aim of the finite element analyses was to examine soil-fluke interaction behaviour during

undrained, deep failure conditions. In particular, the

aim was to deduce the shape of the H, V, M yield

loci for flukes of different shapes.

The fluke shape was idealised as being infinitely

wide to allow plane strain analysis. Although this is

not necessarily a good approximation to reality, it

will allow detailed analysis of a simpler geometry

which may enable better understanding of the general soil-fluke interaction problem.

Two simple fluke geometries were investigated: a

rectangular fluke and an eccentric wedge. Dimensions were defined as shown in Figure 4. For both

flukes, a length over depth ratio L/d = 7 was

adopted, as this is similar to that of a Vryhof

Stevpris anchor fluke (Vryhof, 1990).

The finite element package CRISP, CRItical State

Program (Britto and Gunn, 1987) was used. In the

analyses, approximately 800 15-noded triangular

elements with 27 degrees of freedom were employed

(cubic strain triangles). Tresca elastic-plastic soil

was used with G/su = 500 where G is the shear

2

soil was modelled as undrained by use of total stress

analysis together with a Poisson s ratio, = 0.49.

Displacement controlled analyses are most suitable for determination of the yield locus (Bransby

and Randolph, 1997). For these present analyses, the

footing was displaced slowly in a certain displacement direction (i.e. v/, h/ = constant) until a

plastic failure load was reached. The full yield locus

was characterised by the final load points after carrying out a range of these displacement probes with

different v/ and h/.

3.1 Rectangular fluke

Results from a series of displacement probes under

various combinations of translation parallel (h) and

normal (v) to the fluke direction are shown in Figure

5. Both parallel and normal load is normalised by

fluke length and undrained shear strength so that the

yield locus is presented in dimensionless H/(Lsu)

V/(Lsu) space. A convex yield locus results with

maximum horizontal load, Hmax/(Lsu) = 4.29 (V and

M = 0) and Vmax/(Lsu) = 11.87 (H and M = 0).

The peak loads Hmax and Vmax can be compared to

solutions with upper bound calculation. Figures 6(a)

and 6(b) show kinematic mechanisms for the upper

bound plasticity calculation of Vmax and Hmax respectively. The upper bound calculations give:

Vmax

tan

d 1

= 4 +

+ 4 + cos

Ls u

2

L2

(1)

H max

d

tan 1

= 4 +

+ 4 + cos

Ls u

L

2 2

(2)

Vmax.

is obtained between the FE and upper bound calculation of Vmax. However, less good agreement is obtained in prediction of Hmax.

Examination of soil deformation mechanisms calculated at the horizontal and vertical capacities in the

finite element analysis reveal why Vmax is well predicted by upper bound analysis, but Hmax is not (Figure 7). The soil deformation mechanism in the FE

calculation at Vmax is very similar to that of the upper

bound solution, but there is a significant difference

between the FE calculated mechanism and upper

bound mechanism for pure parallel (h) movement.

Further refinement of the methods for Hmax calculation is required.

The yield locus can be deduced in full H, V and

M space when rotational displacements are included

with translation in the displacement probes (Figure

8). The yield locus is symmetrical about the axes and

is convex.

varied to minimise Hmax or Vmax.

The predictions of Vmax and Hmax are shown on

Figure 5 for the rectangular footing. Good agreement

14

12

h

V / (L su )

10

H

v

Vmax

8

Curve fit (M = 0)

6

4

Hmax

0

0

3

H / (L s u )

1.8

1.8

1.2

1.2

1.2

1.2

0.4

0.8

Curve fit (H = 0)

0.8

6

3

V / (L su)

0.6

Curve fit (H = H1 )

Curve fit (V = 0)

0.4

0

-0.6

0

12

M / (L su)

1.6

M / (L su)

1.6

2

3

H / (L su)

2

3

12

6

3

V / (L su)

0.6

-0.6

-3

3.6

3.6

-3

0

Curve fit (M = 0)

V / (L su)

V / (L su)

1.2

2.4

H / (L su)

1.2

2.4

0

3

Curve fit (V = V1 )

Curve fit (M = M1 )

3

6

12

12

be Mmax/(L2su) = 1.49. This can be compared to an

upper bound solution using a rotational scoop

mechanism (Figure 9) of Mmax/(L2su) = 1.60 (The

general solution is Mmax/(L2su) = /2(1+(d/L)2).

There is good agreement between the FE and upper

bound solutions because of the similarity of the soil

displacement mechanism (Figure 9).

asymmetric) kinematics of the wedge fluke.

The full yield locus in H-V-M space was obtained

for the eccentric wedge shaped fluke (Figure 10).

Unlike for the rectangular fluke, the yield locus is

not symmetric. For example, under pure H loading,

the resultant failure soil displacements will give

positive h and positive v; the anchor will move upwards to the right, partly following the bottom surface of the wedge. Thus, due to normality, the

maximum H load will be sustained with negative V.

The maximum horizontal load is also sustained

with a small negative moment. A detail of the yield

locus in H-M space is shown on Figure 11. The shift

The yield loci are shown in full H-V-M space for the

two fluke shapes in Figures 8 and 10. It is more useful to express the yield loci as separate yield functions. Preliminary curve fits are suggested as an offset form of the Murff (1994) equation:

1

q

M M m H H n p

V V1

1

1

1 +

f =

+

M max M1

H max H1

Vmax V1

(3)

where the exponents, q, m, n and p are chosen together with the offsets V1, M1 and H1 after the FE

analyses. The parameters used in the curve fitting are

shown in Table 1, and the fitted curves are shown in

Figures 8 and 10.

Both equations give reasonably good curve fits to

1.8

M

h

1.2

2

M / (L s u )

H1 , M max

Curve fit (V = V1 )

0.6

M=0

0

h/L

Hmax, M 1 ( = 0)

-0.6

0

Figure 9. Upper bound mechanism for calculation of Mmax and

FE calculated soil displacements at Mmax.

0.6

1.2

1.8 2.4

H / (L s u )

3.6

4

Parameter

Rectangular fluke

Wedge fluke

Hmax/(L su)

4.29

3.34

Vmax/(L su)

11.87

11.53

Mmax/(L2 su)

1.49

1.60

H1/(L su)

0

0

V1/(L su)

0

-1.25

M1/(L2 su)

0

-0.57

m

1.26

2.37

n

3.72

2.14

p

1.09

0.93

q

3.16

3.41

anchor design it is the load conditions close to the

peak H load which are most important. More complex curve fitting to allow for the detailed shape of

the yield locus in this region may be required.

4 KINEMATIC ANCHOR ANALYSIS

The yield loci curve fits produced by the finite element analyses for the fluke-soil interaction can be

used in the kinematic analysis of drag anchors. The

approach is similar to that by Neubecker and

Randolph (1996), but plasticity concepts are used to

determine the force on the fluke in the equilibrium

solution and the associated plastic anchor displacements are used to determine the anchor kinematics.

First, the anchor is wished into place near the

soil surface. Next, equilibrium of the anchor is considered which requires finding the fluke load that

will cause yield. The plastic normal at this load point

will then dictate the plastic displacement of the

fluke. This governs the direction of the next anchor

movement and the anchor is stepped to the next position where the procedure is repeated. Hence, the

entire embedment trajectory of the anchor can be

calculated together with the chain force at each instant. This is explained in slightly more detail below.

4.1 Geometrical simplification

The soil stratigraphy is considered as a single layer

of soil with undrained shear strength, suo at the soil

The drag anchor is simplified as shown on Figure

12. The fluke is wide enough such that it can be idealised as being plane strain. The shank is treated as a

plate of length sl and of width sw. The chain of diameter b is connected at the anchor padeye. The

fluke-shank angle, fs, is also defined in Figure 12.

At any instant, the padeye is at a depth, zp below

the soil surface and the top face of the fluke is inclined at angle to the horizontal. The chain is inclined at an angle a to the horizontal at the padeye,

where a is governed by the padeye depth, zp, the

chain width, b, the force on the chain, Ta and the lateral capacity factor of the chain, Nc using the equation of Neubecker and Randolph (1996):

2bN s z + 0.5kz 2

c uo p

p

a =

Ta

(4)

The forces acting on the anchor are shown on Figure

12. For the purpose of this analysis, the anchor is

assumed to be weightless. The shank drag force, Hs

acts at the midpoint of the shank and parallel to the

direction of fluke travel. It is calculated as the product of the projected shank area perpendicular to the

direction of travel, a bearing capacity factor, Nc = 9,

and the undrained shear strength at the shank midpoint. The unknown chain force, Ta is resisted by the

shank drag force, Hs and the fluke drag (H, V, M).

Given that f(H, V, M) = 0 as the fluke is at failure,

there is enough information to calculate all the force

components.

4.3 Normality displacements

If it is assumed that elastic displacements are negligible in comparison to plastic displacements, the

fluke movement direction will be given by the normal to the plastic yield locus at the load state calculated by the equilibrium solution. Thus, /(h/L) =

(f/(M/L))/(f/H) and v/h = (f/V)/(f/H).

Assuming that the anchor fluke moves a distance

x in the direction parallel to the top fluke face in a

displacement increment, then h = x, v =

((f/V)/(f/H))x and = (f/(M/L))/(f/H)

x/L.

4.4 Re-calculation of anchor position

x using the displacement equations above. The

chain angle is recalculated for the next equilibrium

step and the direction of the last anchor displacement

is recorded so that the direction of the shank drag

force, Hs is known. The procedure is repeated from

5

10

10

20

30

Padeye depth

40

50

0

100

200

300

Draglength (m)

Padeye load

400

the equilibrium step until the chain force, Ta becomes constant and the trajectory of the anchor flattens.

4.5 Typical results

A typical drag trajectory is shown in Figure 13 for an

anchor in an undrained, normally consolidated clay

with suo = 0 kPa and k = 1 kPa/m. The anchor has

dimensions similar to those of a 32 tonne Vryhof

Stevpris anchor with a 50 fluke-shank angle (Vryhof, 1990). Figure 13 also shows the holding force

on the chain, Ta as the drag progresses.

Both the drag trajectory and holding capacity results are similar to those seen in model anchor tests

(O Neill and Randolph, 1997) with a gradual increase in holding capacity as the embedment depth

increases. A final holding capacity of 8.7 MN

equates to an anchor form factor f of 1.7. This compares to f = 1.4 derived experimentally, suggesting

that the yield locus approach to the analysis of anchors in clays is promising.

5 CONCLUSIONS

Local soil failure around the fluke of drag anchors

has been analysed using finite element analysis to

investigate how drag anchor capacity and kinematics

are affected by the fluke. Fluke-soil behaviour at

failure has been characterised with a plastic yield

envelope in terms of loads parallel and perpendicular

to the anchor fluke and moment load, using the

framework employed recently for shallow foundation analysis.

Yield envelopes are presented for ideal plane

strain flukes of various shapes and upper bound results are presented to verify these findings. The

varying yield envelope shapes are seen to be the consequence of different soil deformation mechanisms

around the anchor governed by the anchor fluke geometry. However, these can be expressed simply in

terms of curve fits in H-V-M load space, and these

yield loci will also form plastic potentials allowing

Bransby & O Neill: Drag anchor fluke-soil interaction in clays

The work has lead to the introduction of a new

numerical design method for predicting drag anchor

trajectory and holding capacity using the yield envelope approach. Despite the simplifications inherent in the analysis and the simplified form of the

fluke-soil yield locus curve-fit used, the analysis

method gave results similar to those seen in model

tests of anchors in soft clays. This suggests that the

method has promise with further refinement of the

yield envelope and better approximation to the anchor geometry.

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

The work described in this paper forms part of the

activities of the Special Research Centre for Offshore Foundation Systems, established and supported under the Australian Research Council s Research Centres Program. Special thanks are due to

Mr. Nicholas Spadaccini for his contribution to the

work presented in this paper.

REFERENCES

Bransby, M.F., Randolph, M.F., 1997. Shallow foundations

subject to combined loadings, Proc. of the 9th Int. Conf. on

Computer Methods and Advances in Geomechanics,

Wuhan, Vol. 3, pp. 1947-1952.

Bransby, M.F., Randolph, M.F., 1998. Combined loading of

skirted foundations, Geotechnique, Vol. 48, No. 5, pp. 637655.

Britto, A., Gunn, M., 1987. Critical state soil mechanics via

finite element analysis, Chichester, Ellis Horwood Ltd.

Chen, W.F., 1975. Limit Analysis and Soil Plasticity, Elsevier,

New York.

Martin, C.M., 1994. Physical and numerical modelling of offshore foundations under combined loads, PhD Thesis, University of Oxford.

Murff, J.D., 1994. Limit analysis of multi-footing foundation

systems, Proc. of the 8th Int. Conf. on Computer Methods

and Advances in Geomechanics, Morgantown, Vol. 1, pp.

223-244.

Neubecker, S.R., Randolph, M.F., 1996. The performance of

drag anchor and chain systems in cohesive soil, Marine

Georesources and Geotechnology, 14: 77-96.

O Neill, M.P., Randolph, M.F., Neubecker, S.R., 1997. A

novel procedure for testing model drag anchors, Proc. 7th

Int. Offshore and Polar Eng. Conf., ISOPE-97, Honolulu,

Hawaii, 939-945.

Tan, F., 1990. Centrifuge and theoretical modelling of conical

footings on sand, PhD Thesis, The University of Cambridge.

Thorne, C.P, 1998. Penetration and load capacity of marine

drag anchors in soft clay, Journal of Geotech. and Geoenv.

Eng., Vol. 124, No. 10, pp 945-953.

Vryhof Anchors, 1990. Anchor Manual, Krimpen ad Yssel,

The Netherlands.

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