Research Papers: Offshore Geotechnics

Experimental Investigation of Pile Installation by Vertical Jet Fluidization in Sand

[+] Author and Article Information
Larissa de Brum Passini

Department of Civil Engineering,
Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul,
Porto Alegre,
Rio Grande do Sul 90035-190, Brazil
e-mail: larissapassini@hotmail.com

Fernando Schnaid

Department of Civil Engineering,
Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul,
Porto Alegre,
Rio Grande do Sul 90035-190, Brazil
e-mail: fschanid@gmail.com

1Corresponding author.

Contributed by the Ocean, Offshore, and Arctic Engineering Division of ASME for publication in the JOURNAL OF OFFSHORE MECHANICS AND ARCTIC ENGINEERING. Manuscript received December 19, 2014; final manuscript received May 25, 2015; published online June 16, 2015. Assoc. Editor: Solomon Yim.

J. Offshore Mech. Arct. Eng 137(4), 042002 (Aug 01, 2015) (10 pages) Paper No: OMAE-14-1151; doi: 10.1115/1.4030707 History: Received December 19, 2014; Revised May 25, 2015; Online June 16, 2015

The paper examines the mechanism of pile installation by vertical jet fluidization in saturated sand in order to define the constitutive parameters that control installation geometry and pile depth of embedment. A series of laboratory model tests representative of offshore torpedo piles was carried out using downwardly directed vertical water jets in both medium and dense sands. Measurements from model tests at three different scales indicate that the geometry of fluidized cavities is not influenced by the initial density of the sand and that the perturbed zone is constrained to a distance of about two pile diameters from the pile centerline during pile installation. Following the laws of dimensional analysis, an expression for the embedment of fluidized piles is derived and shows that penetration depth is a function of pile weight and geometry, fluidized water jet flow rate and velocity, as well as the soil and fluid properties. Penetration is shown to increase with increasing flow rate and pile weight and decreasing soil relative density. Although the results have to be validated by tests at larger scales to prove compatibility with the full-scale behavior, model tests indicate maximum embedment depth of the order of 50 times the pile diameter.

Copyright © 2015 by ASME
Your Session has timed out. Please sign back in to continue.


Weisman, R. N., Collins, A. G., and Parks, J. M., 1982, “Maintaining Tidal Inlet Channels by Fluidization,” ASCE J. Waterw., Harbors Coastal Eng. Div., 108(WW4), pp. 526–538.
Weisman, R. N., Lennon, G. P., and Roberts, E. W., 1988, “Experiment on Fluidization in UnBounded Domains,” J. Hydraul. Div., Am. Soc. Civ. Eng., 114(5), pp. 502–515. [CrossRef]
Weisman, R. N., and Lennon, G. P., 1994, “Design of Fluidizer Systems for Coastal Environment,” ASCE J. Waterw., Harbors Coastal Eng. Div., 120(5), pp. 468–487. [CrossRef]
Weisman, R. N., and Lennon, G. P., 1996, “A Guide to the Planning and Hydraulic Design of Fluidizer Systems for Sand Management in the Coastal Environment,” Dredging Research Program, Prepared for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Lehigh University, Bethlehem, PA, Technical Report No. DRP-96-3.
Khalili, N., and Niven, R. K., 1996, “Upflow Washing: A New in Situ Technology for Organic and Metal Remediation,” 3rd International Symposium on Environmental Geotechnology, Technomic Publishing, San Diego, CA, Vol. 1, pp. 745–754.
Niven, R. K., 1998, “In Situ Multiphase Fluidisation (“Upflow Washing”) for the Remediation of Diesel and Lead Contaminated Soils,” Ph.D. thesis, School of Civil and Environmental Engineering, The University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia.
Westrich, B., and Kokus, H., 1973, “Erosion of a Uniform Sand Bed by Continuous and Pulsating Jets,” International Association of Hydraulic Research Congress, Istanbul, Turkey, Vol. 1(A13), pp. 1–3.
Rajaratnam, N., and Beltaos, S., 1977, “Erosion by Impinging Circular Turbulent Jets,” J. Hydraul. Div., Am. Soc. Civ. Eng., 103(10), pp. 1191–1205.
Rajaratnam, N., 1982, “Erosion by Submerged Circular Jets,” J. Hydraul. Div., Am. Soc. Civ. Eng., 108(HY2), pp. 262–267.
Aderibigbe, O. O., and Rajaratnam, N., 1996, “Erosion of Loose Beds by Submerged Circular Impinging Turbulent Jets,” J. Hydraul. Div., Am. Soc. Civ. Eng., 34(1), pp. 19–33. [CrossRef]
Rajaratnam, N., and Mazureck, K. A., 2003, “Erosion of Sand by Circular Impinging Water Jets With Small Tail Water,” J. Hydraul. Div., Am. Soc. Civ. Eng., 129(3), pp. 225–229. [CrossRef]
Alsaydalani, M. O. A., and Clayton, C. R. I., 2014, “Internal Fluidization in Granular Soils,” ASCE J. Geotech. Geoenviron. Eng., 140(3), pp. 1–10. [CrossRef]
Shestopal, A. O., 1959, Jetting of Pipes, Piles, and Sheet Piles, Hydroproject Institute, Moscow, USSR, (in Russian).
Tsinker, G. P., 1988, “Pile Jetting,” ASCE J. Geotech. Geoenviron. Eng., 114(3), pp. 326–334. [CrossRef]
Gunaratne, M., Hameed, R. A., Kuo, C., Putcha, S., and Reddy, D. V., 1999, “Investigation of the Effects of Pile Jetting and Preforming,” Prepared for the Florida Department of Transportation, in Cooperation With Federal Highway Administration, University of South Florida, Tampa, FL, Research Report No. 772.
Smith, W. A., 2003, “Jetting Techniques for Pile Installation and Environmental Impact Minimization,” M.Sc. thesis, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC.
Gabr, M. A., Borden, R. H., Smith, A. W., and Denton, R. L., 2007, “Laboratory Characterization of Jetting-Induced Disturbance Zones,” Geo-Denver 2007: New Peaks in Geotechnics, GSP 172 Soil Improvement, Denver, CO, pp. 1–10. [CrossRef]
Xu, G. H., Yue, Z. Q., Liu, D. F., and He, F. R., 2006, “Grouted Jetted Precast Concrete Sheet Piles: Method, Experiments, and Applications,” Can. Geotech. J., 43(12), pp. 1358–1373. [CrossRef]
Zeilinger, H. M., 2009, “The Vibro-Jetting Driving Method,” International Foundation Congress and Equipment Expo—Contemporary Topics in Deep Foundations, ASCE, Orlando, FL, pp. 311–318.
Bhasi, A., Rajagopal, K., and Reddy, D. V., 2010, “Finite Element Study of the Influence of Pile Jetting on Load Capacity of Adjacent Piles,” Int. J. Geotech. Eng., 4(3), pp. 361–370. [CrossRef]
Medeiros, C. J., Jr., 2002, “Low Cost Anchor System for Flexible Risers in Deep Waters,” Offshore Technology Conference, Houston, TX, pp. 1–5, Paper No. OTC 14151. [CrossRef]
Fernandes, A. C., Araujo, J. B., Almeida, J. C. L., Machado, R. D., and Matos, V., 2006, “Torpedo Anchor Installation Hydrodynamics,” ASME J. Offshore Mech. Arct. Eng., 128(4), pp. 286–293. [CrossRef]
Kunitaki, D. M. K. N., 2006, “Uncertainty Treatment in the Dynamic Behavior of Torpedo Pile of Floating Systems Anchoring in Offshore Petroleum Exploitation,” M.Sc. thesis, Federal University of Rio de Janeiro (COPPE/UFRJ), Rio de Janeiro, Brazil (in Portuguese).
Aguiar, C. S., 2007, “Pile–Soil Interaction in Offshore Foundation”, M.Sc. thesis, Federal University of Rio de Janeiro (COPPE/UFRJ), Rio de Janeiro, Brazil (in Portuguese ) .
Costa, R. G. B., 2008, “Parametric Analysis of the Conditions for Anchoring Offshore Platforms Using Torpedo Pile From Finite Element Models,” M.Sc. thesis, Federal University of Rio de Janeiro (COPPE/UFRJ), Rio de Janeiro, Brazil (in Portuguese).
Henriques, P. R. D., Jr., Foppa, D., Porto, E. C., and Medeiros, C. J., Jr., 2010, “Alternative Torpedo Anchor for Heavy Loads Anchorage,” 15th Brazilian Congress of Soil Mechanics and Geotechnical Engineering—COBRAMSEG, Gramado, Brazil (in Portuguese), pp. 1–8.
Lavieri, R. S., 2011, “Inertial Navigation Methods Applied to Submarine Launches,” M.Sc. thesis, Polytechnic School of the University of São Paulo, São Paulo, Brazil (in Portuguese).
Randolph, M. F., Cassidy, M., Gournec, S., and Erbrich, C., 2005, “Challenges of Offshore Geotechnical Engineering,” 16th International Conference on Soil Mechanics and Foundation Engineering, Osaka, Japan, Vol. 1, pp. 123–176.
O'Loughlin, C. D., Randolph, M. F., and Richardson, M., 2004, “Experimental and Theoretical Studies of Deep Penetrating Anchors,” Offshore Technology Conference, Houston, TX, pp. 1–11, Paper No. OTC 16841.
Gilbert, R. B., Movant, M., and Audibert, J., 2008, “Torpedo Piles Joint Industry Project—Model Torpedo Pile Tests in Kaolinite Test Beds,” Prepared for the Minerals Management Service, The University of Texas at Austin, Austin, TX, Final Project Report No. 575.
Mezzomo, S. M., 2009, “Study of Fluidization Using Water Jets in Sand,” M.Sc. thesis, Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul, Porto Alegre, Brazil, (in Portuguese).
Stracke, F., 2012, “Fluidization of Sand Associated to Injection of Cement Agent for Applying in Offshore Structures,” M.Sc. thesis, Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul, Porto Alegre, Brazil (in Portuguese).
Schnaid, F., Passini, L., Stracke, F., and Mezzomo, S., 2014, “On the Response of Fluidized Piles From Laboratory Model Tests in Granular Soils,” J. Geo-Eng. Sci., 1(2), pp. 69–81. [CrossRef]
Alawneh, A. S., Malkawi, A. I. H., and Al-Deeky, H., 1999, “Tension Tests on Smooth and Rough Model Piles in Dry Sand,” Can. Geotech. J., 36(4), pp. 746–753. [CrossRef]
Shanker, K., Basudhar, P. K., and Patra, N. R., 2007, “Uplift Capacity of Single Piles: Prediction and Performance,” Geotech. Geol. Eng., 25(2), pp. 151–161. [CrossRef]
Kumar, J., and Bhoi, M. K., 2009, “Vertical Uplift Capacity of Equally Spaced Multiple Strip Anchors in Sand,” Geotech. Geol. Eng., 27(3), pp. 461–472. [CrossRef]
Lehane, B. M., Jardine, R. J., Bond, A. J., and Frank, R., 1993, “Mechanisms of Shaft Friction in Sand From Instrumented Pile Tests,” ASCE J. Geotech. Eng., 119(1), pp. 19–35. [CrossRef]
Lehane, B. M., Schneider, J. A., Lim, J. K., and Mortara, G., 2012, “Shaft Friction From Instrumented Displacement Piles in an Uncemented Calcareous Sand,” ASCE J. Geotech. Eng., 138(11), pp. 1357–1368. [CrossRef]
Leva, M., 1959, Fluidization, McGraw-Hill, New York.
Consoli, N. C., Casagrande, M. D. T., and Coop, M. D., 2007, “Performance of a Fiber Reinforced Sand at Large Shear Strains,” Geotechnique, 57(9), pp. 751–756. [CrossRef]
Araujo, J. D., Machado, R. D., and Medeiros, C. J., Jr., 2004, “High Holding Power Torpedo Pile—Results for the First Long Term Application,” ASME Paper No. OMAE2004-51201. [CrossRef]
Silva, U. A., Galgoul, N. S., and Medeiros, C. J., Jr., 2008, “Dynamic Analysis of Torpedo Piles,” 14th Brazilian Congress of Soil Mechanics and Geotechnical Engineering—COBRAMSEG, Búzios, Brazil, pp. 634–639 (in Portuguese).
Sousa, J. R. M., Aguiar, C. S., Ellwanger, G. B., Porto, E. C., Foppa, D., and Medeiros, C. J., 2011, “Undrained Load Capacity of Torpedo Anchors Embedded in Cohesive Soils,” ASME J. Offshore Mech. Arct. Eng., 133(2), pp. 1–12. [CrossRef]
Kumar, P. R., 2007, “Scaling Laws and Experimental Modeling of Contaminant Transport Mechanism Through Soils in a Geotechnical Centrifuge,” Geotech. Geol. Eng., 25(5), pp. 581–590. [CrossRef]
Cedergren, H. R., 1997, Seepage, Drainage, and Flow Nets–Part I, 3rd ed., Wiley, New York, Chaps. II–III.
Sara, M. N., 2003, Site Assessment and Remediation Handbook, 2nd ed., CRC Press, Boca Raton, Chaps. V, VII–VIII.
Foray, P., Balachowski, L., and Rault, G., 1998, “Scale Effect in Shaft Friction Due to the Localization of Deformations,” Centrifuge 98, T.Kimura, O.Kusakabe, and J.Takemura, eds., Tokyo, Japan, A. A. Balkema, Rotterdam, Netherlands, Vol. 1, pp. 211–216.
Garnier, J., and Konig, D., 1998, “Scale Effects in Piles and Nails Loading Tests in Sand,” Centrifuge 98, Vol. 1, A. A. Balkema, Rotterdam, Netherlands, pp. 205–210.
Bruno, D., and Randolph, M. F., 1999, “Dynamic and Static Load Testing of Model Piles Driven Into Dense Sand,” ASCE J. Geotech. Geoenviron. Eng., 125(11), pp. 988–998. [CrossRef]
Loukidis, D., and Salgado, R., 2008, “Analysis of the Shaft Resistance of Non-Displacement Piles in Sand,” Geotechnique, 58(4), pp. 283–296. [CrossRef]
Arshad, M. I., Tehrani, F. S., Prezzi, M., and Salgado, R., 2014, “Experimental Study of Cone Penetration in Silica Sand Using Digital Image Correlation,” Geotechnique, 64(7), pp. 551–569. [CrossRef]
Wen, C. Y., and Yu, Y. H., 1966, “Mechanics of Fluidization,” Chemical Engineering Progress Symposium Series, Fluid Particle Technology, New York, Vol. 62(62), pp. 100–111.
Mih, W. C., and Kabir, J., 1983, “Impingement of Water Jets on Nonuniform Streambed,” J. Hydraul. Div., Am. Soc. Civ. Eng., 109(4), pp. 536–548. [CrossRef]
O'Loughlin, C. D., Randolph, M. F., and Richardson, M., 2009, “Centrifuge Tests on Dynamically Installed Anchors,” ASME Paper No. OMAE2009-80238. [CrossRef]
Fan, Y., Chen, Z., Liang, X., Zhang, X., and Huang, X., 2012, “Geotechnical Centrifuge Model Tests for Explosion Cratering and Propagation Laws of Blast Wave in Sand,” J. Zhejiang Univ., Sci., A, 13(5), pp. 335–343. [CrossRef]


Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 1

Grain-size distribution

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 2

Experimental setup

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 3

Schematic representation of fluidization geometry in (a) suspended tubes STs and (b) free-fall tubes FTs

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 4

Schematic representations from lateral tests for (a) the installation process during penetration and (b) the enlargement of the fluidized zone (after penetration)

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 5

Fluidized zone (dh/de) versus pile penetration (L) from lateral tests in FTs and STs at Dr = 50% and 90%

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 6

Pile fluidization in fine sand: (a) de = 14.0 mm; dj = 9.7 mm; mB = 275 g; Qo = 1.0 × 10−3 m3/min; Dr = 50%, (b) de = 16.2 mm; dj = 11.6 mm; mB = 400 g; Qo = 1.0 × 10−3 m3/min; Dr = 90%, and (c) de = 21.3 mm; dj = 16.2 mm; mB = 960 g; Qo = 1.6 × 10−3 m3/min; Dr = 50%

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 7

Parameters controlling (a) constant and (b) discontinuous penetration

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 8

Model test results expressed as (a) tip displacement and versus time and (b) tip velocity versus time

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 9

Pile load–penetration curves without fluidization: (a) dimension and (b) dimensionless results for Dr = 50% and 90%

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 10

Pile penetration expressed as a function of (a) flow rate and (b) jet velocity for Dr = 50%

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 11

Pile penetration plotted against (a) flow rate and (b) jet velocity for Dr = 50% and 90%

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 12

Dimensionless groups Π1 versus Π2 and Π3

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 13

Comparison between measured and predicted normalized penetration depth Π1



Some tools below are only available to our subscribers or users with an online account.

Related Content

Customize your page view by dragging and repositioning the boxes below.

Related Journal Articles
Related eBook Content
Topic Collections

Sorry! You do not have access to this content. For assistance or to subscribe, please contact us:

  • TELEPHONE: 1-800-843-2763 (Toll-free in the USA)
  • EMAIL: asmedigitalcollection@asme.org
Sign In