A computational procedure for simulation of torpedo anchor installation, set-up and pull-out

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Raie, Mohammad Sayfolah, 1977-

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Torpedo-shaped anchors serve as foundations for risers and floating structures in the deep-water marine environment. Such cone-tipped, cylindrical steel pipes, ballasted with concrete and scrap metal, penetrate the seabed by the kinetic energy they acquire during free fall. Estimation of the embedment depth is a crucial part of the design process in that the pull-out capacity is strongly dependent on the strength of the surrounding soil. This dissertation presents the development of a procedure based on a computational fluid dynamics (CFD) model for the prediction of the embedment depth of torpedo anchors. By means of a representation of the soil as a viscous fluid, the CFD model leads not only to the resisting forces on the anchor but the distributions of pressure and shear in the soil as well. These distributions are then imported in another computational tool for finite-element (FE) analysis of coupled deformation and fluid flow in porous media for further simulations of reconsolidation of the soil next to the anchor and, ultimately, short-term and long-term capacity estimation. This dissertation presents CFD results for torpedo-anchor installation in soil, comparisons with experimental data and, finally, results from FE analysis of soil reconsolidation and anchor pull-out.