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- Micromechanical modelling (4)
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- Jet erosion (3)
- LBM-DEM (3)
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The stability and geometric nonlinearities of slender structures are a major topic in structural design. While this topic is most relevant in the field of Structural Engineering, e.g. for steel or concrete structures, only few applications take the role of soil-structure-interaction explicitly into account. The focus of this paper is placed on the impact of soil support and its modelling for the buckling analysis based on examples both for pile foundations and for railway track stability. The general interaction between steel design and the geotechnical input will be addressed. The paper discusses and summarizes a range of subtopics based on experience and current research at the author’s institute.

Driven steel piles are commonly used as deep foundations for a wide range of engineering structures, particularly in the offshore branch. They are also an interesting example among the broad spectrum of geotechnical applications where the fluid-solid interaction at the pore-scale can play a major role for the macromechanical behaviour of the whole system.
In the context of the geotechnical practice for offshore wind-farm structures, both the industrial design and the actual dimensions of the large piles used as foundations in the seabed are often driven by factors such as the soil resistance to driving (SRD), which are still not well understood and often estimated based on mere empirical correlations or overly simplified one-dimensional models. In particular, the role of the micromechanical effects during the installation process (e.g. local dilatancy or contractancy) and their consequences on the pore pressure levels at the pile-tip and on the effective resistance to driving, are generally either disregarded or at most assumed to be covered by the simplified engineering “black-box” solutions.
Here, we propose a general framework to address such local aspects of a geotechnical application involving fluid-saturated soils while retaining the focus on the micro-scale phenomena. We advocate for an approach that combines the relative simplicity of the Discrete Element Method (DEM) for the solid mechanics with the capabilities of the Lattice Boltzmann Method (LBM) for the fluid dynamics. In this sense, we aim to compile some useful techniques and practical recommendations for an efficient GPU-based implementation of a micromechanical LBM-DEM simulation tool.

The shaft bearing capacity often plays a dominant role for the overall structural behaviour of axially loaded piles in offshore deep foundations. Under cyclic loading, a narrow zone of soil at the pile-soil interface is subject to cyclic shearing solicitations. Thereby, the soil may densify and lead to a decrease of confining stress around the pile due to microphenomena such as particle crushing, migration and rearrangement. This reduction of radial stress has a direct impact on the shaft capacity, potentially leading in extreme cases to pile failure. An adequate interface model is needed in order to model this behaviour numerically. Different authors have proposed models that take typical Interface phenomena in account such as densification, grain breakage, normal pressure effect and roughness. However, as the models become more complex, a great number of material parameters need to be defined and calibrated. This paper proposes the adoption and transformation of an existing soil bulk model (Pastor- Zienkiewicz) into an interface model. To calibrate the new interface model, the results of an experimental campaign with the ring shear device under cyclic loading conditions are here presented. The constitutive model shows a good capability to reproduce typical features of sand behaviour such as cyclic compaction and dilatancy, which in saturated partially-drained conditions may lead to liquefaction and cyclic mobility phenomena.

The aim of an ongoing research project is to develop a design approach for typical offshore driven piles (e.g. Jacket piles) based on the application of injections by compaction grouting directly at the pile shaft. The paper aims to present the results of laboratory and in-situ tests, which reveal the efficiency and the promising potential of the optimised foundation concept for a more economic dimensioning of pile foundations and to increase their bearing capacity in non-cohesive soil at any moment after installation.

This presentation deals with the phenomenology and design of pile foundations for offshore wind turbines, and is divided into two lectures.
The first lecture presents a brief introduction to the context and peculiarities of such foundations, and then focuses on the particular case of axially loaded piles. This part is most relevant for the relatively slender piles of the multi-pile substructures (i.e. jackets and tripods). A clear distinction between physical phenomenology and practical design is drawn here.
The second lecture continues with the case of lateraly loaded offshore piles, which bears most relevance for the case of the monopile foundations. Here again, a clear separation between physical reality and design methods is intended.
Finally, the last part of the second lecture introduces several advanced topics which lie outside the classical design approaches, namely the hydromechanical coupling effects (i.e. the excess pore-pressure generation around the monopiles), the cyclic pile fatigue and the so-called pile Setup (i.e. the time effects on the axial pile capacity). The relevance of the latter two topics is illustrated with experimental results from a field testing campaign on real large-scale piles.

This talk provides a brief introduction on general engineering challenges for the offshore (marine) wind energy production, focusing on material, structural and hydromechanical aspects.
The talk begins with a broad overview on general trends for offshore wind-farms, with insights on some characteristic structural features and their associated loads. Then, some particular open issues for the foundation of the offshore wind turbines into the seabed are introduced. Here, different research approaches are discussed, from experimental investigations to coupled computational analysis at micro- and macroscopic scales.
In the second part of the seminar, both the hydromechanical Wave–Tower interaction and some general aspects of the windfarm aerodynamics (wake analysis) are discussed. Some modelling possibilities in the frame of CFD (computational fluid dynamics) are introduced and the relevance of such analyses for a proper windfarm layout optimization is pointed out.
Summing up, this seminar aims to show that: i) Numerical analysis of the turbine’s interaction with wind/waves and with the seabed is both useful and affordable. ii) Simplified models can provide an insight into windfarm aerodynamics. iii) Turbulent wake analysis is very relevant for the windfarm layout.

The structural performance of many geotechnical systems (e.g. axially-loaded pile foundations), depends on the shearing resistance at the soil interface, which may govern the load bearing capacity of the foundation. Experimental investigations have shown that this interaction is mainly localised within a narrow shear band next to the structure. Under cyclic loading, a contraction of the soil at the interface may arise (net volume loss), possibly leading to a stress relaxation and thus to a reduction of the load bearing capacity (the so-called friction fatigue). Based on the constitutive similarities between soil continua and interfaces, we propose here the adaption of a Generalized Plasticity model for sandy soils for the numerical analysis of interface problems. In this contribution, the results of an experimental campaign for the parameter calibration of the constitutive model are presented. The tests have been conducted with a ring shear device involving different normal stresses, roughness of the steel plates as well as cyclic loading. The new modelling approach shows promising results and has the additional practical advantage that the interface zone and the soil continuum can both be described with the same constitutive model in general boundary value problems.

This talk provides a brief introduction on general engineering aspects of offshore wind energy production. Some geomechanical issues for the foundation of OWTs into the seabed are introduced, while the results from experimental investigations and coupled computational analysis are discussed.
In the second part of the seminar, the hydromechanical Wave–Tower interaction is firstly discussed. Then, some general aspects of the windfarm aerodynamics are introduced. On the one hand, some modelling possibilities for the wake analysis of single turbines and turbine groups are discussed. And on the other hand the relevance of such analyses for a proper windfarm layout optimization is pointed out.
Concerning the geomechanical issues the talk shows that: i) The pile’s bearing capacity can degrade under cyclic loading (waves, wind, …). ii) The time effects can be relevant: Capacity improvement can be substantial, but also fragile. iii) There are cyclic PWP effects: Cyclic interaction with pore water may lead to soil softening and an uncoupled analysis (current design practice) is potentially unsafe.
And concerning the hydromechanical and aerodynamical design considerations, this seminar shows that: i) Numerical analysis of turbine’s interaction with wind/waves is useful and affordable. ii) Simplified models can provide insight into windfarm aerodynamics. iii) Turbulent wake analysis is very relevant for the windfarm layout.

The authors are currently investigating the possibility to apply compaction grouting for offshore pile foundations (Jacket piles as well as monopiles) as a possible retrofitting technique for an optimised foundation concept. In this research project, we are developing a design approach aiming to predict the ideal amount and properties of a grout for a specific soil situation and desired improvement of pile bearing capacity after Installation and during service time. Both numerical and experimental tests have been carried out to investigate the injection process during which a highly viscous grout is injected into the soil under high pressure to displace and compact the surrounding soil without fracturing it. The implicit Material Point Method (MPM) based on a mixed formulation is the numerical technique chosen to deal with the expected large deformations and the arbitrary shape of the developing grout bulb. The usage of MPM prevents both the need of remeshing and the numerical instability induced by extensive mesh distortion. For validation with experimental results, we have constructed a testing chamber with one transparent sidewall. This chamber enables us to observe the injection process directly at the transparent vertical window and to measure the in-plane soil displacements and strains by means of the Digital Image Correlation (DIC) technique.
The results already reveal the interrelation of soil and grout properties for a successful usage of this common ground improvement technique.

Design challenges for offshore wind-farms. From foundation mechanics to wind-farm aerodynamics
(2018)

This talk provides a brief introduction on general engineering aspects of offshore wind energy production. Then some geomechanical issues for the foundation of OWTs into the seabed are introduced, while the results from experimental investigations and coupled computational analysis are discussed.
In the second part of the seminar, the hydromechanical Wave–Tower interaction is firstly discussed. Then, some general aspects of the windfarm aerodynamics are introduced. On the one hand, some modelling possibilities for the wake analysis of single turbines and turbine groups are discussed. And on the other hand the relevance of such analyses for a proper windfarm layout optimization is pointed out.
Concerning the geomechanical issues the talk shows that: i) The pile’s bearing capacity can degrade under cyclic loading (waves, wind, …). ii) The time effects can be relevant: Capacity improvement can be substantial, but also fragile. iii) There are cyclic PWP effects: Cyclic interaction with pore water may lead to soil softening and an uncoupled analysis (current design practice) is potentially unsafe.
And concerning the hydromechanical and aerodynamical design considerations, this seminar shows that: i) Numerical analysis of turbine’s interaction with wind/waves is useful and affordable. ii) Simplified models can provide insight into windfarm aerodynamics. iii) Turbulent wake analysis is very relevant for the windfarm layout.