Optimised screw pile design for offshore jacket foundations in medium-dense sand

Benjamin Cerfontaine (Lead / Corresponding author), Michael Brown, Craig Davidson, Yaseen Sharif, Marco Huisman, Marius Ottolini

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)
224 Downloads (Pure)


Screw piles are well-suited foundations for offshore jacket structures, as they can be installed without significant underwater noise and have a large axial capacity. However, installation requirements for such large piles must be reduced to enable their installation in the field. This study combines geometry and installation optimisation to lower force and torque installation requirements. An original pile geometry, composed of a large diameter upper section connected to a smaller diameter lower section by a transition piece, was tested in a geotechnical beam centrifuge. The advancement ratio (AR), describing the relative vertical movement per pile rotation, was varied below the threshold usually recommended. The results show that a low AR reduces the pile penetration resistance and even generates some pull-in, while the torque remains almost unaffected. The torque is mainly associated with the upper section of the pile, which has a greater diameter to resist lateral loading in service. The pile capacity in tension generally increases as AR is reduced and reaches a maximum for AR=0·5, while the compressive capacity reduces. It was shown that a simplified method can be used to estimate pile capacity, providing that some AR-dependent reduction factors can be calculated or assumed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-6
Number of pages6
JournalGeotechnique Letters
Issue number2
Early online date10 Mar 2022
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2022
Event1st International Symposium on Screw Piles for Energy Applications - University of Dundee, Dundee, United Kingdom
Duration: 27 May 201928 May 2019


  • Screw anchors
  • Offshore energy
  • Sand
  • Offshore wind
  • Offshore engineering
  • Anchors & anchorages
  • Centrifuge modelling

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Geotechnical Engineering and Engineering Geology
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences (miscellaneous)


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