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Failure Modes of Tapered Suction Caissons Under Vertical Pull-Out Loads

[+] Author Affiliations
Mahmood Nabipour, Mostafa Zeinoddini, Mahmood R. Abdi

K.N. Toosi University of Technology, Tehran, Iran

Paper No. OMAE2007-29490, pp. 613-620; 8 pages
  • ASME 2007 26th International Conference on Offshore Mechanics and Arctic Engineering
  • Volume 1: Offshore Technology; Special Symposium on Ocean Measurements and Their Influence on Design
  • San Diego, California, USA, June 10–15, 2007
  • Conference Sponsors: Ocean, Offshore and Arctic Engineering Division
  • ISBN: 0-7918-4267-3 | eISBN: 0-7918-3799-8
  • Copyright © 2007 by ASME


The pull-out performance of conventional upright suction caissons has been investigated by different researchers. However, no attention has been formerly paid to tapered suction caissons. Some numerical studies already conducted by the authors demonstrated that tapered caissons exhibit pull-out capacities well above than that from their corresponding upright caissons. This paper deals with different failure mechanisms of tapered suction caissons and discusses some reason for their superior performance. A numerical approach has been used and different combinations of caisson types/ soil categories have been examined. With tapered suction caissons two different modes of failure have been discerned. The first mode has been noticed to develop in weak clays and sands under drained conditions. This mode corresponds to a shear sliding failure in the soil plug along the caisson’s interior wall. Concurrently a soil wedge is formed in the soil body adjacent to the caisson. The second mode of failure has been observed in higher strength drained clays and undrained clays and sands. With this failure mode a local failure at the bottom of the soil plug has been noticed to happen. At the same time the failure is extended to the lower surfaces of a soil wedge outside of the caisson. The detached soil plug accompanies the caisson in its movement upward following the local failure.

Copyright © 2007 by ASME
Topics: Caissons , Suction , Stress , Failure



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