Assessing single helix screw pile geometry on offshore installation and axial capacity

Yaseen Sharif, Michael Brown, Matteo Ciantia, Benjamin Cerfontaine, Craig Davidson, Jonathan Knappett, Jonathan David Ball

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)
154 Downloads (Pure)


Due to their low-noise installation and relatively large axial capacity, screw piles have been proposed as an alternative foundation solution in dense sand for offshore renewable energy applications in deeper water. For this to occur, significant upscaling of onshore dimensions is required. Furthermore, the effects of certain geometric features on installation requirements are still not well understood. In this work, using the three-dimensional discrete-element method, the effects of base geometry, shaft diameter and helix pitch were investigated by simulating the full installation process prior to conducting axial compression and tension tests. The results of the investigation showed it is possible to optimise the geometry of the screw pile to reduce installation requirements, in terms of both vertical installation force (up to 61%) and installation torque (up to 39%), without reducing the axial capacity of the pile significantly.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)512-529
Number of pages18
JournalProceedings of the Institution of Civil Engineers: Geotechnical Engineering
Issue number5
Early online date24 Aug 2021
Publication statusPublished - 4 Oct 2021


  • geotechnical engineering
  • computational mechanics
  • piles & piling

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment


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