Modelling Screwpile Installation Using the MPM

Lei Wang (Lead / Corresponding author), William M. Coombs, Charles E. Augarde, Michael Brown, Jonathan Knappett, Andrew Brennan, David Richards, Anthony Blake

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)
231 Downloads (Pure)


Screwpiles are, as the name suggests, piled foundations which are screwed into the ground. They provide restraint to both upwards and downward loading directions and are commonly used for light structures subject to overturning or wind loading, such as sign gantries at the sides of motorways. An EPSRC-funded project led by University of Dundee has recently started, with Durham and Southampton as partners, in which the use of screwpiles (individual or in groups) for offshore foundations is under investigation. At Durham, a numerical modelling framework based on the material point method (MPM) is being developed for the installation phase of a screwpile. The aim is to use the model to provide an accurate representation of the in situ ground conditions once the pile is installed, as during installation the ground is disturbed and any model that "wishes in place" a screwpile may not provide representative long-term performance predictions. Following modelling of installation, the soil state will be transferred to a standard finite element package for the subsequent modelling of in-service performance (the MPM being considered unnecessary and computationally expensive for this phase of the life of a screwpile). In this preliminary work, we present the development of features of this numerical tool to simulate the screwpile installation. These features include a moving mesh concept (both translation and rotation) and interface elements. The effectiveness of the algorithm is illustrated through simple examples.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)124-132
Number of pages9
JournalProcedia Engineering
Early online date27 Feb 2017
Publication statusPublished - 2017


  • Elasto-plastic interface element
  • Implicit MPM
  • Implicit stress integration
  • Moving mesh
  • Penetration problem
  • Screwpile

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Engineering


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