DEM analysis of helix number effects on offshore screw pile installation and in-service performance

Wei Wang, Michael J. Brown, Matteo O. Ciantia, Yaseen U. Sharif, Benjamin Cerfontaine

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

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Screw piles are potentially silent and efficient foundation and anchoring system for offshore renewable energy applications, although upscaling of screw piles for offshore use may require vertical force applied at pile head, which can be impractical or costly. Recent studies show that it is possible to over-flight a single-helix screw pile to reduce and even eliminate the requirement for vertical force whilst enhancing post-installation uplift performance. Screw piles can have more than one helix to improve in-service performance at the price of increased installation vertical force and torque, but how this affects overflighting installation and the performance after over-flighting installation has not been determined. In this study, DEM simulations are undertaken on a single-helix and a two-helix screw pile installed using pitch-matched and over-flighting approaches. The results show over-flighting of the two-helix screw pile can also reduce the installation requirements but may not improve the in-service uplift performance. In addition, for pitch-matched screw piles, increasing helix number can improve both compressive and tensile performance post-installation. For over-flighted screw pile, however, adding helices can result in loss of uplift capacity.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 10th European Conference on Numerical Methods in Geotechnical Engineering
EditorsLidija Zdravkovic, Stavroula Kontoe, Aikaterini Tsiampousi, David Taborda
Place of PublicationLondon
PublisherInternational Society for Soil Mechanics and Geotechnical Engineering
Number of pages6
Publication statusPublished - 26 Jun 2023


  • Screw anchor
  • screw pile
  • multiple helix
  • sand
  • offshore engineering
  • Offshore energy
  • Discrete Element Method
  • Offshore geotechnics
  • Installation effects

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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