Bucket foundations are widely used in offshore areas due to their various benefits such as easy and fast installations. A bucket is installed using self-weight and the hydraulic pressure difference across the lid generated by pumping out water from inside the bucket. When buckets are installed in high permeable soil such as sands, upward seepage flow occurs around the bucket tip and interior, leading to a decrease in the effective stress in the soil inside the buckets. This process reduces the penetration resistance of buckets. However, the soil inside and outside the bucket can be disturbed due to the upward seepage flow and this can change the soil properties around the bucket. Moreover, upward seepage flow can create significant soil plug heave, thereby hindering the penetration of the bucket to the target depth. Despite of these problems, soil disturbance and soil plug heave created by suction installation are not well understood. This study aims to investigate the behavior of soil during suction installation. To comprehend the phenomena of soil plug heave during installation, a series of small-scale model tests were conducted with different testing conditions. From a series of tests, the effects of tip thickness of bucket, penetration rate, and self-weight were identified. Finally, soil properties inside the bucket after installation were approximated from the measured soil plug heave.
버켓기초(bucket foundation)는 해상 구조물 지지를 위해 사용되는 구조물로 간편하고 빠르게 지반에 설치할 수 있어 종래의 기초를 대체하여 해양에서 널리 활용되고 있다. 버켓기초는 기초 자중과 버켓 내부의 물을 외부로 배출시킴으로써 발생하는 내외부 압력차를 이용해 설치된다. 버켓기초가 모래지반과 같이 투수성이 높은 지반에 설치될 경우에는 석션압에 의해 버켓 외부지반에서 내부방향으로 침투수류(seepage flow)가 형성된다. 석션압에 의해 발생하는 상향의 침투수류는 내부지반의 유효응력을 감소시켜 버켓기초의 관입저항력을 낮추는 역할을 하지만 내부지반이 연약해 지고 융기(heaving)되는 현상이 발생할 수 있다. 이는 버켓기초가 목표 깊이까지 설치되는 것을 저해하고 장기거동에 영향을 줄 수 있다. 하지만 현재까지도 이에 대한 연구가 미진한 실정이다. 따라서 본 연구에서는 축소모형실험을 통해 버켓기초 설치 중 발생하는 석션압과 지반 교란현상을 실험적으로 평가하였다. 이를 위해 버켓기초의 선단부 두께, 관입속도와 자중이 각각 석션설치 및 지반교란에 미치는 영향을 실험적으로 확인하고 교란된 지반의 물성을 추정하였다.
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