Probabilistic structural assessment of conical grouted joint using numerical modelling

Wilfried Njomo-Wandji*, Anand Natarajan, Nikolay Dimitrov

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

Abstract

Conical grouted joints have been proposed as a solution for the relative settlement observed between the sleeve and the pile on monopiles for wind turbines. In this paper, the influence of the design parameters such as steel wall thicknesses and conical angle on the failure modes associated to continual loadings are assessed based on finite element analysis. It is found that both the sleeve's and pile's wall thicknesses have a significant impact on the grouted joint health. Namely, the larger are the wall thicknesses, the more vulnerable the grout is with respect to fatigue and material degradation but the more limited the progressive settlement is, and inversely. This implies that the appropriate wall thicknesses should be chosen by designers having in mind that neither extreme is conservative. Based on statistical modeling, the grout length is found to be the most influential parameter of the settlement caused by extreme loadings: longer grout significantly contributes to the reduction of extreme settlement. To ensure that the inevitable settlement does not jeopardize the joint's structural integrity, a probability-based method has been developed to estimate the minimal gap between the pile top and the brackets required to achieve a targeted annual reliability index (of 3.3).

Original languageEnglish
JournalOcean Engineering
Volume158
Pages (from-to)232-252
ISSN0029-8018
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 15 Jun 2018

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