Performance of drag embedment anchors dragged through remolded clay and loaded at various horizontal orientations
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Drag embedment anchors (DEAs, or anchors) are used as foundations to secure mobile offshore drilling units (MODUs) in soft clay soils on the sea floor. In 2004 and 2005, Hurricanes Ivan, Katrina, and Rita caused the mooring failures of 17 mobile offshore drilling units moored with anchors. Since then, a great deal of research has been conducted regarding anchor performance and reliability. This report provides an overview of anchor research and industry practice to date, and discusses the results of two research experiments to assess anchor performance. One experiment investigated the effect that embedding anchors in the same soil path several times had on bearing force. The second experiment investigated what effect changing the direction of the horizontal load vector relative to the anchor shank had on embedded anchor bearing force. The results of these experiments suggest that remolding clay may have an effect on anchor bearing force capacity, and that repeatable results are obtainable when testing the effect of changing the direction of applied horizontal load.