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Inge Lotsberg DOI: 10.1002/stab.201201598


Andrzej Serednicki
Håkon Bertnes
Andreas Lervik

Design of grouted connections for


monopile offshore structures
Results from two Joint Industry Projects

During the last years, offshore wind turbine structures were re- acceptable safety level. A grouted connection is used to con-
ported to settle on the monopile structure and the resulting force nect the transition piece to the monopile as indicated in
flow in the structures was different to that intended at the design Figure 1. A transition piece is installed on top of the
stage. A joint industry project was therefore carried out by Det monopile resting on temporary supports. The transition
Norske Veritas (DNV) to investigate the structural capacity of piece is then jacked up to the correct verticality before the
these connections from autumn 2009 to January 2011. It was grouting is carried out. After curing, the jacks are removed,
found that the axial capacity of the grouted connections is a more leaving a gap between the temporary supports and the
sensitive function to the diameter and surface tolerances than monopile. A significant number of wind towers have been
that accounted for in existing design standards. Based on this ex- reported to settle on the monopiles, resulting in a different
perience a design procedure with conical shaped connections force flow in the structures from that intended at the de-
was developed. In January 2011 another joint industry project on sign stage. The unintended force transfer through tempo-
capacity of cylindrical shaped grouted connections with shear
rary supports has led to concern about fatigue cracking in
keys was initiated. In this project analytical design equations have
the structures which might lead to costly repairs for the in-
been developed both for the Ultimate Limit State and the Fatigue
dustry. Most of the grouted connections between the tran-
Limit State. The recommended design methodology has been
sition piece and the monopile are grouted plain cylindri-
supported by a number of laboratory tests. Some of the main re-
cal connections made without using shear keys. Shear keys
sults and recommendations for design of grouted connections in
monopiles from these projects are presented in this paper. are normally used in grouted connections in jacket struc-
tures for transfer of load from the structure to the piles. By
Bemessung von Grout-Verbindungen für Monopile-Offshore- shear keys are understood use of circumferential weld beads
Tragstrukturen – Ergebnisse von zwei Industrie-Gemeinschafts- around the piles and around the inside of the sleeves in
projekten. In den letzten Jahren wurden an Offshore-Windener- the jacket structure such that sliding between steel and
gieanlagen Setzungen im Bereich der Grout-Verbindungen in grout is restricted. The axial force due to the self-weight of
Monopile-Tragstrukturen festgestellt, in Folge derer der tatsäch- the structure above the grouted connection in monopiles
liche Kraftfluss vom ursprünglichen Design abweicht. Aus diesem is in general relatively small. The moments have been as-
Grund wurde vom Det Norske Veritas (DNV) zwischen Herbst sumed to be transferred mainly through contact forces (as
2009 und Januar 2011 ein Gemeinschaftsprojekt mit der Industrie force couples) and due to relevant friction between the
durchgeführt, in dem die Tragfähigkeit dieser Verbindungen unter- steel and the grout surfaces. The grouted connection is de-
sucht wurde. Dabei wurde festgestellt, dass die axiale Tragfähig- signed with a rather large diameter. Although the thick-
keit der Grout-Verbindungen deutlich stärker von Durchmesser nesses of the transition piece and pile are large, the result-
und Oberflächentoleranz abhängig ist als bisher angenommen. ing diameter to thickness ratios are also large – and larger
Auf Grundlage der Versuchsergebnisse wurden zunächst Ent- than those traditionally used in the design of jacket struc-
wurfsmethoden für konische Grout-Verbindungen entwickelt. Im tures, where these connections have a long positive expe-
Januar 2011 wurde ein weiteres Gemeinschaftsprojekt mit der rience record.
Industrie zur Tragfähigkeit zylindrischer Grout-Verbindungen mit The grouted connections in monopile structures can
Schubrippen initiiert, in dem ebenfalls Ingenieurmodelle für die be considered to be rather different from those of other
Nachweise in den Grenzzuständen der Tragfähigkeit und Ermü- offshore structures in terms of loading. The connections in
dung entwickelt wurden. Diese Modelle wurden durch Labortests typical jacket structures are mainly subjected to axial loading
bestätigt. Dieser Beitrag berichtet über die wesentlichen, in den
while the monopiles are subjected to a significant bending
Joint Industry-Projekten erzielten Ergebnisse und Empfehlungen
moment. It should be added, though, that the bending mo-
für den Entwurf von Grout-Verbindungen in Monopiles.
ment at the pile top is larger in skirt pile connections de-
signed today than in battered piles installed through the
1 Introduction jacket legs. The stresses in the monopile due to the bend-
ing moment from wind loading can be more than one or-
During the last years, the offshore wind industry experi- der of magnitude larger than those due to the axial load
enced that the design of the grouted connections between alone. Owing to the large diameter to thickness ratio, the
the transition piece and the monopile did not result in an grouted connections become rather flexible with respect

© Ernst & Sohn Verlag für Architektur und technische Wissenschaften GmbH & Co. KG, Berlin · Stahlbau 81 (2012), Heft 9 695
I. Lotsberg/A. Serednicki/H. Bertnes/A. Lervik · Design of grouted connections for monopile offshore structures – Results from two Joint Industry Projects

Fig. 1. Principle of grouted connection


in monopile structure
Bild 1. Schematischer Aufbau einer
Grout-Verbindung in einer Monopile-
Tragstruktur

to bending moment and a radial cracking of the grout may that for a constant value of surface irregularity and for the
be expected. Some opening and sliding between the steel same constant radial stiffness, the interface capacity (per
and the grout may also be expected due to the flexibility of unit surface area) will be reduced by the increased radius
the connection when subjected to a large bending moment. of the grouted connection. Most of the test data used to
A joint industry project was carried out by DNV to create capacity equations for grouted connections are de-
investigate the structural capacity of these connections rived from small diameter tests. The interface capacity
from autumn 2009 to January 2011. It was found that the (per unit area) of an actual large diameter monopile struc-
axial capacity of the grouted connections is a more sensi- ture is significantly lower than that of a typical 800 mm di-
tive function of the diameter and surface tolerances than ameter grouted connection for a similar assumed surface
that accounted for in existing design standards. Based on irregularity tested in laboratory. Thus minimum tolerances
this experience a design procedure with conical shaped should be provided in fabrication standards in order to
connections was developed. In January 2011 another joint document a reliable capacity. However, such requirements
industry project on capacity of cylindrical shaped grouted have so far not been specified and are rather contrary to
connections with shear keys was initiated. In this project the normal practice of specifying maximum limits for tol-
analytical design equations have been developed both for erances (big tolerances being traditionally seen as sign of
the Ultimate Limit State and the Fatigue Limit State for badly controlled work). Reference is further made to the
design of cylindrical shaped grouted connections with shear public summary report from the first Joint Industry Pro-
keys. Some of the main results from both of these projects ject (JIP) that is available from internet ([1], [2]).
(conical or with shear keys) are presented in this paper.
2.2 Effect of bending moment
2 Vertical capacity of cylindrical shaped grouted
connections without shear keys The axial stresses in the transition piece and the monopile
2.1 Effect of surface irregularity due to the moment loading on the grouted connections
are usually much larger in a wind turbine structure than
During the two joint industry projects, literature reaching that from the vertical permanent load arising from the
more than 30 years back in time was reviewed. Unfortu- weight of the structure above the connection. The mo-
nately, no clear explanation of the physical capacity of ment load is transferred from the transition piece to the
grouted connections without shear keys was found. How- monopile through horizontal contact forces as indicated
ever, some more understanding of the actual physical be- in the sketch in Figure 2. There will also be vertical fric-
haviour was gained based on laboratory tests and reported tion forces due to the contact pressure that contributes to
settlements of a number of monopile grouted connections. the moment capacity of the grouted connection (red ar-
This experience has led to the following explanation of rows in Figure 2). The axial resistance to sliding in cylin-
the axial capacity of cylindrical shaped grouted connec- drical shaped grouted connections is significantly reduced
tions without shear keys. The axial capacity can be ex- as a function of the number of dynamic load cycles caus-
plained by resistance due to surface irregularity which is ing sliding in the connection. However, it is found that a
defined as surface roughness in addition to more global characteristic friction coefficient value of 0.40 between
surface tolerances in the tubular sections that form the steel and grout can also be applied to grouted connections
grouted connection. The axial capacity can be explained subjected to long-term sliding. As long as there is friction
by different phases. During the first part of an axial load- force between the steel and grout due to contact pressure,
ing, the capacity depends on a combination of surface there will also be vertical friction forces due to the surface
roughness and tolerances. This stage may also be denoted irregularity (or fabrication tolerances) in the connection
as that corresponding to bond capacity. At the end of this (black arrows in Figure 2). This effect is not recommended
stage, the bond capacity is exceeded. After this stage, the to be used in the design; however, it must be kept in mind
capacity depends mainly on surface tolerances and radial when assessing laboratory test data. The contact pressure
stiffness of the pile and the transition piece. This means shown in Figure 2 will act around most parts of the circum-

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I. Lotsberg/A. Serednicki/H. Bertnes/A. Lervik · Design of grouted connections for monopile offshore structures – Results from two Joint Industry Projects

Fig. 2. Contact pressure and resistance to bending


moment in a grouted monopile connection
Bild 2. Kontaktspannung und Widerstand gegen
Biegebelastung in der Grout-Verbindung einer Mo-
nopile-Gründung

ference. This contact pressure will provide some horizon- expected at position c than at other positions around the
tal shear resistance due to the friction between the steel circumference).
and grout. These horizontal shear forces shown in Figure The moment action due to maximum contact pressure
2 will also contribute to the grouted connection’s moment (blue arrows in Figure 2) is derived by integrating the con-
capacity (green arrows in Figure 2). tact pressure around half the circumference from b to d as
The moment action will lead to a tension load in the
circumferential direction of the grouted connection that R p L2g
may exceed the tensile capacity of the grout. This may lead Mp = p (1)
3
to the grout cracking in a radial and vertical section of the
grout. Due to the relatively high local slenderness (diame- where
ter to thickness ratio) of the pile and the transition piece, p maximum nominal pressure at the top and the bottom
ovalisation of the cylinders will also occur and a gap will of the grouted section as shown in Figure 2
open up between the grout and the steel of these elements Lg effective length of grouted section (= L – 2tg where L =
in the case of large moments. This will lead to a relative actual grout length and tg = grout thickness)
sliding between the steel and grout. One can thus assume Rp outer radius of pile
that the main purpose of the grout is to transfer pressure
from the transition piece to the pile. The moment due to the horizontal friction force (green ar-
The actual behaviour of the grouted connections sub- rows in figures) is derived by integrating the contact pres-
jected to a bending moment may be simulated by a finite sure within the stipulated red line from a to c in Figure 2
element analysis that accounts for compressive contact with pressure 0.75 p at position d as
between the steel and the grout but without tensile contact
stresses and with a proper friction coefficient where con- R p L2g
tact pressure is present. Mμh = μ p (2)
π
An analytical expression of the relationship between
the contact pressure and bending moment acting on the The moment capacity due to the vertical friction force (red
grouted connection can be derived based on certain as- arrows in Figure 2) is derived by integrating the contact
sumptions concerning pressure distribution. A constant pressure outside the stipulated line from a to c in Figure 2
pressure is assumed around half the circumference from b with pressure 0.5 p at position d as
to d in Figure 2. Then the pressure distribution is assumed
to be reduced from d to a and from b to a as e.g. like a co- Mμv = μ p R 2p L g (3)
sine function. (The pressure distribution is considered to
depend on the diameter to thickness ratio of the connection. The selection of pressure at position d to derive equations
For a low diameter to thickness ratio, a larger pressure is (2) and (3) is based on limitation of friction force that can

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I. Lotsberg/A. Serednicki/H. Bertnes/A. Lervik · Design of grouted connections for monopile offshore structures – Results from two Joint Industry Projects

be achieved in two orthogonal directions and with a com- Based on geometrical considerations the vertical relative dis-
parison with the results of a finite element analysis. placement between the transition piece and the monopile
The total moment is derived as is derived as

M tot = Mp + Mμh + Mμv (4) 2R p


δ V = δH (8)
Lg
In addition to these moments, there is a friction moment
due to surface irregularity which is neglected for large dia-
meter connections. The contribution to the nominal con- A significant sliding between the steel and the grout is ex-
tact pressure from the global shear force at the grouted pected to occur in the case of a combination of a flexible
connection in a monopile is considered to be small. transition piece (large diameter to thickness ratio) and large
An estimate of the maximum nominal contact pres- bending moments even with a high friction coefficient.
sure is then derived from equations (1) to (4) as Thus, it is not realistic to try to improve the structural be-
haviour of the large diameter connections subjected to dy-
3 π M tot namic bending moments by increasing the roughness of
p= (5) the steel surfaces.
R p L2g (π + 3 μ) + 3π μ R 2p L g
A bending moment is considered to lead to an ovali-
sation of the grouted connection. This is illustrated in Fig-
An estimate of the maximum opening between the steel and ure 3, where the bending moment in the tower is illustrated
the grout at the top of the monopile is derived from cir- by an axial force couple. The axial compression force leads
cumferential compression of the monopile and circumfer- to a radial displacement above the grouted connection due
ential elongation of the transition piece as to Poisson’s ratio of the steel. This leads to tensile stresses
between the steel and the grout which may lead to a loss
(
δ H = 3 δ p + δ TP ) (6) of bond capacity. As the bond capacity is lost, the dis-
placement field moves into the connection, with further
Here, the compression of the grout is neglected as the con- loss of bond capacity. As the direction of the bending mo-
tribution from this to the total deformation is small for ment changes with time, the initial bond around the cir-
typical wind turbine connections. The change in radius due cumference may thus be lost in the case of large bending
to contact pressure for the pile and the transition piece is moments.
derived as
2.3 Capacity of grout subjected to contact pressure
p R p2
δp =
E tp Due to ovalisation of the structure there will be a contact
(7)
pressure around the circumference of the grouted connec-
p R TP 2 tion as shown in Figure 4 (The lengths indicated in the figure
δ TP =
E t TP are: lep = elastic length for pile and leTP = elastic length of
transition piece). This contact pressure is largest at top
where and bottom of the connections. The pressure will also lead
tp thickness of pile to local deformation of the pile and the transition piece at
tTP thickness of transition piece these regions which increases the local stresses in the
RTP outer radius of thickness transition grout. Based on laboratory test data it is found that the

Fig. 3. Radial displacement in a


large diameter connection sub-
jected to an axial load (from
bending moment)
Bild 3. Radiale Verschiebung
einer Grout-Verbindung mit gro-
ßem Rohrdurchmesser unter
axialer Belastung (infolge Biege-
belastung)

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I. Lotsberg/A. Serednicki/H. Bertnes/A. Lervik · Design of grouted connections for monopile offshore structures – Results from two Joint Industry Projects

Fig. 4. Radial displacement in a


large diameter connection subjected
to contact pressure (from bending
moment)
Bild 4. Radiale Verschiebung einer
Grout-Verbindung mit großem Rohr-
durchmesser unter Kontaktspannung
(infolge Biegebelastung)

nominal contact pressure has to be limited in order to ment sufficient capacity with a sliding resistance between
avoid cracking of the grout under reversed dynamic load- the steel and grout surface equal to zero for such connec-
ing as indicated in Figure 5. Cracking of the grout is due to tions without shear keys.
nominal contact stress and alternating shear stresses as in-
dicated in the figure and increased by a stress concentra- 3 Conical shaped grouted connections
tion due to local deflection of the steel cylinders at the
grout ends. Introducing a cone angle on the monopile and the transi-
tion piece is a way to introduce well- defined minimum
2.4 Wear from sliding of the grout against steel fabrication tolerance requirements so that one can be certain
that the fabrication agrees with the design assumptions.
The flexibility of the grouted connections implies deforma- By using a well-defined cone as indicated in Figure 6, it is
tion during dynamic moment loading, leading to some slid- assessed that settlements due to axial loading can be limited.
ing between the steel and grout surfaces. Laboratory tests A small cone angle is assumed such that the moment on the
show that the long-term resistance against sliding might be connection can be considered to be transferred as compres-
so much reduced during service life that a reliable lower sion in the grout from contact pressure similar to that in
bound on resistance to be used in a design can hardly be connections with a cylindrical shaped connection. The
provided for a plain cylindrical shaped grouted connection. use of a cone angle in the range of 1° to 3o can be recom-
This means that design solutions should be sought to docu- mended.

Fig. 5. Potential grout cracking at grout ends


Bild 5. Potentielle Rissbildung im Randbereich der Grout- Fig. 6. Contact pressure in conical shaped grouted connection
schicht Bild 6. Kontaktspannung in einer konischen Grout-Verbindung

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4 Cylindrical shaped grouted connections with shear keys

Most of the laboratory fatigue tests on grouted connections


with shear keys reported in the literature were performed
with specimens with a diameter less than 400 mm ([3], [4]).
It has been questioned whether these specimens were rep-
resentative for the structural behaviour of large diameter
grouted connections in monopiles which are subjected to
a static axial load and a significant dynamic bending mo-
ment. Therefore an effort was made to design test speci-
mens that represent a similar radial stiffness as grouted
connections with large pile diameters in the order of five
Fig. 7. Analysis model with compression strut between tran- metres or even larger.
sition piece and monopile From testing of grouted connections in laboratory it
Bild 7. Model mit Druckstreben zwischen Transition Piece is observed that compression struts are developed in the
und Monopile grout between shear keys on the transition piece and the

Fig. 8. Box test specimen for simulation of large diameter connection (photo: Lotsberg)
Bild 8. Segmentartiger Probekörper zur Simulation einer Grout-Verbindung mit großem Rohrdurchmesser

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I. Lotsberg/A. Serednicki/H. Bertnes/A. Lervik · Design of grouted connections for monopile offshore structures – Results from two Joint Industry Projects

pile as indicated in Figure 7. The strut is rather stiff as bending moment and with a constant axial force for compar-
compared with the radial stiffness of the pile and the tran- ison. A photo of a section through the test specimen show-
sition piece. Therefore the radial deflection is mainly gov- ing the crack pattern in the grout is shown in Figure 10.
erned by the thickness of the steel, the geometry of the The relative sliding in the vertical direction between
connections in terms of radius, thickness and Young’s mod- the transition piece and the pile, Figure 7, is governed by
ulus for the steel. From this information it is possible to elastic deformation of the pile and the transition piece as
design box specimens that can simulate the structural be- indicated by horizontal springs in the figure. An analytical
haviour of large diameter connections. Reference is made procedure for assessment of this relative sliding has been
to Figures 8. At present 4 box specimens have been de- developed. When the relative sliding is known, also the
signed, fabricated and tested under reversed cyclic loading. loading on the shear keys can be calculated and design
The stiffness of the box tests corresponds to that of cylin- can be performed both for the Ultimate Limit State and
drical diameters of approximately 800 mm, 3000 mm and the Fatigue Limit State. This is performed by transforma-
5000 mm. The smallest box was made for comparison with tion of the horizontal spring action in Figure 7 to that of a
a cylindrical shaped test specimen of a similar diameter and vertical spring action between shear keys on the transition
radial stiffness. Box specimen number 2 was designed with piece and the pile as indicated in Figure 11. Then the re-
a similar radial stiffness as that of pile to sleeve connec- sulting moment from a shear key can be derived from the
tions used in typical new jackets today for the oil industry. analysis model in Figure 12 as
Box specimens 3 and 4 were designed with a similar radial
π/ 2
stiffness as that of large diameter offshore grouted connec-
tions in monopiles (D = 5 m). The radial stiffness of the box MShear key = 4 ∫ (
k V R p dϕ R p sin ϕ δ v 0 sin ϕ ) (9)
specimens was achieved by the plates between the grouted 0

section and the bolted part. The radial stiffness of the boxes
was verified by measurements with hydraulic actuators in- where
side the boxes before grouting was performed. When the box kV vertical spring stiffness representing the spring stiffness
specimens were loaded in the axial direction under reversed of a shear key per unit length of that shear key around
cyclic loading, the side plates of the boxes were subjected the circumference
to radial contact pressure from the grout and a similar be- δv0 maximum relative vertical displacement calculated at
haviour as for a large diameter grouted connection was the positions of the shear keys
simulated.
In addition to the 4 box tests, also a cylindrical shaped
grouted connection of a diameter equal 800 mm with shear
keys as shown in Figure 9 has been tested under reversed

Fig. 11. Analysis model with transformed spring direction


Bild 11. Model mit transformierter Richtung der Federwirkung

Fig. 9. Photo of test specimen in test rig (photo: Lotsberg)


Bild 9. Aufnahme des Probekörpers im Prüfstand

Fig. 10. Photo of section through cylindrical test specimen


after fatigue test (photo: Lotsberg)
Bild 10. Aufnahme des Schnitts durch den zylindrischen Fig. 12. Analysis model for spring action due to shear keys
Probekörper nach Durchführung des Ermüdungsversuchs Bild 12. Model der Federwirkung durch Schubrippen

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I. Lotsberg/A. Serednicki/H. Bertnes/A. Lervik · Design of grouted connections for monopile offshore structures – Results from two Joint Industry Projects

The following capacity equation is then derived by inte- where


gration Mtot either design bending moment for the Ultimate Limit
State (including load factors according to DNV-OS-
MShear key = π δ v0 k V R 2p (10) J101) or maximum bending moment from dynamic
loads for the Fatigue Limit State (with load factor =
It is further assumed that the bending resistance from sev- 1.0 from DNV-OS-J101)
eral shear keys can be added. The basis for the analytical μ characteristic friction coefficient = 0.4
procedure is equilibrium of the moments resulting from
reaction forces in the analysis model shown in Figure 2: The action force (per unit length around the circumference)
Mp moment resistance from contact pressure from bending moment and vertical force transferred to the
Mμh moment resistance from contact pressure and fric- shear keys is derived as
tion resulting in horizontal shear force resistance
between grout and steel 6 p keff R p ⎛ R 2p R 2TP ⎞ P
Mµv moment resistance from contact pressure and fric- FV Shk = ⎜ + ⎟+ (13)
E L g ⎜⎝ t p t TP ⎟⎠ 2 π R p
tion resulting in vertical shear force resistance be-
tween grout and steel
Msh key moment resistance from shear keys in the connec- where
tion P self-weight of structure above the pile including full
weight of the transition piece for the Ultimate Limit
The total moment is resisted by the sum of these reaction State; P = 0 for the Fatigue Limit State
moments in the grouted connection.
An effective spring stiffness per circumferential length The average action force (per unit length around the cir-
of the grouted connection with shear keys acting in the ver- cumference) on one shear key is derived as
tical direction is derived based on structural mechanics as
FV Shk
2 t TP s2eff n E ψ FV 1Shk = (14)
keff = n
⎧⎛ 3/ 2 3/ 2 ⎫
⎪ Rp ⎞ ⎛ R TP ⎞ ⎪
44 (
3 1− ν2 ) t 2g ⎨⎜ ⎟ +⎜ ⎟ ⎬ t TP + n seff L g
⎝ t TP ⎠ ⎪
2 where
⎪⎝ t p ⎠ n number of shear keys
⎩ ⎭
(11) The results from use of the proposed design procedure
where have been compared with the laboratory test data derived
Rp outer radius of pile from 4 box shaped tests that were made to simulate the
tp thickness of pile large diameter grouted connections and the scaled cylin-
RTP outer radius of transition piece drical shaped grouted connection that was fatigue tested.
tTP thickness of transition piece It is found that there is good agreement between the pro-
posed design procedure for grouted connections with
seff = s − w
shear keys for monopiles and the laboratory test data.
s distance between centre of shear keys This also includes the test data derived at Leibniz Univer-
w width of shear key sity Hannover as shown in Figure 13; reference is made to
n number of effective shear keys (actual number of shear [7]. These tests include grouted connections with different
keys on each side of the grouted connection is n+1) grout material strengths, different overlap lengths and dif-
E Young’s modulus of steel = 2.1 · 105 MPa ferent number of shear keys. Test no 1 is without shear
ν Poisson’s ratio for steel = 0.3 keys, see also description of test geometries in Table 1.
tg thickness of grout
ψ design coefficient = 1.0 for calculation of load action
on shear key = 0.5 for calculation of maximum nomi- Table 1. Parameters of the test specimens from Leibniz Uni-
nal radial contact pressure versity Hannover [7]
Tabelle 1. Parameter des Probekörpers der Leibniz Universi-
tät Hannover [7]
In derivation of equation (11) it is also assumed that there
is some flexibility of the transition piece in axial direction
Test uniaxial compressive grout length number of
from top of the pile to the centre of the shear keys.
no strength of grout fc (MPa) L/Dp shear keys n
Then the nominal radial contact pressure at top and
bottom of the grouted connection is derived as 1 130 1.3 0

p= 2 130 1.3 7
3 π M tot E L g 3 130 1.0 5
⎛ R 2p R 2 ⎞
{ ( ) }
EL g R pL2g π + 3μ + 3π μ R p2 L g + 18 π 2 keff R 3p ⎜
⎜⎝ t p
+ TP ⎟
t TP ⎟⎠
4

5
70

70
1.3

1.0
7

6 90 1.3 7
(12)

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I. Lotsberg/A. Serednicki/H. Bertnes/A. Lervik · Design of grouted connections for monopile offshore structures – Results from two Joint Industry Projects

Fig. 13. Measured relative sliding between transition piece


and pile compared with that calculated based on proposed
design approach
Fig. 14. Example of contribution to resistance moment as
Bild 13. Gemessene relative Gleitbewegungen zwischen
function of number of effective shear keys
Transition Piece und Monopile verglichen mit Berechnungen
Bild 14. Beispiel der mitwirkenden Anteile beim Wider-
auf Grundlage des vorgeschlagenen Bemessungsansatzes
standsmoment aufgetragen als Funktion der effektiven
Schubrippenanzahl
A summary report from the JIP on capacity of cylin-
drical shaped grouted connections with shear keys is be-
ing written. Here the full design procedure will be in-
cluded. Provided it is accepted to be released by the JIP
partners, it will be placed on an internet page similar to
that of the summary report from the first JIP. It is also
planned to include the proposed design procedure in
DNV-OS-J101 during 2012.
It is decided to assess the loading on the shear keys
against capacity from ISO 19902 (2007). This standard
gives design provisions for grouted connections with cube
strength in the range 20 to 80 MPa. The tests carried out
in these joint industry projects were performed with a typ-
ical compressive grout strength larger than 130 MPa,
characteristic compressive strength larger than 110 MPa,
Young’s modulus: 50 GPa, Poissons’s ratio: 0.19 and ten-
sile strength larger than 7 MPa. Fig. 15. Fatigue test data for alternating loading
An example of use of the procedure for a large dia- Bild 15. Daten eines Ermüdungsversuchs unter alternieren-
meter connection is shown in Figure 14. Outer diameter der Belastung
of pile is 5.0 m and the grout length is 8.0 m in this exam-
ple. Thickness of steel is 80 mm. A height of shear keys
equal 12 mm is used here. Higher shear keys will lead to force and 12 % to moment from vertical friction force. A
increased capacity when following the capacity equation characteristic friction coefficient equal 0.40 is used in this
from ISO 19902 (2007). The connection is subjected to a example.
bending moment equal 160 MNm. The figure shows how An S-N curve for grouted connections with shear
much of the moment is carried by the shear keys, how keys has been developed as shown in Figure 15 together
much is carried by ovalisation and contact pressure and with fatigue test data derived in the project. A reduced fa-
friction due to the contact pressure. When the loading on tigue capacity in water has been accounted for in the pro-
the shear keys is known, a further assessment of the re- posed design S-N curve based on experience from fatigue
quired capacity for the Ultimate Limit State can be per- testing of grouted samples in water and air [8]. Finally, a
formed and number of required effective shear keys can design has to be verified against this S-N curve based on
be determined. the actual long term loading for the Fatigue Limit State. A
In the presented example 8 shear keys are required to similar number of shear keys is expected for grouted con-
fulfil design for the Ultimate Limit State. It is observed nections in monopiles for the Fatigue Limit State as for
that approximately 42 % of the moment is transferred as the Ultimate Limit State. A detailed long term description
action to the shear keys, 33 % to contact pressure through of the dynamic loading has to be used for the Fatigue Limit
ovalisation and 13 % to moment from horizontal friction State for real structures.

Stahlbau 81 (2012), Heft 9 703


I. Lotsberg/A. Serednicki/H. Bertnes/A. Lervik · Design of grouted connections for monopile offshore structures – Results from two Joint Industry Projects

5 Conclusions Ballast Nedam Engineering, BASF Construction Chem-


icals, Centrica, Densit APS, DNV, DONG Energy, Ger-
Two joint industry projects on grouted connections have manisher Lloyd Industrial Services GmbH, Gottfried Wil-
been performed since autumn 2009. In the first project it helm Leibniz Universität Hannover, Joint Venture East
was assessed that cylindrical shaped grouted connections Anglia Offshore Wind, Keppel Offshore and Marine Tech-
without shear keys can no longer be recommended due to nology Centre Pte Ltd, Kvaerner Jacket Technology AS,
the low long-term axial capacity of such connections. This MT Højgaard A/S, Per Aarsleff A/S, RWE Innogy GmbH,
is due to reduced interface shear capacity with the increas- SSE Renewables Developments (UK) Limited, Statoil Pe-
ing diameter of the connections combined with a low long- troleum AS, Nippon Steel Corporation, WTM Engineers
term effective resistance due to wear between the steel GmbH.
and grout surfaces for loads that exceed the bond/sliding
friction capacity. A reason for this is also due to lack of re- References
quirements to minimum tolerances in the fabrication of
the monopile and the transition piece. [1] Lotsberg, I.: Summary Report from the JIP on the Capacity
of Grouted Connections in Offshore Wind Turbine Structu-
A design methodology was developed to account for
res. DNV Report No. 2010–1053, Rev 05, dated 12. 05. 2011.
large dynamic bending moments on monopiles. It is assessed
[2] Lotsberg, I., Serednicki, A., Cramer, E., Bertnes, H., Enggaard
that the contact pressure between the steel structure and Haahr, P.: On Structural Capacity of Grouted Connections in
grout has to be limited due to potential cracking of the grout Offshore Structures. Presented at OMAE June 2011, paper
at the grout ends and abrasive wear. A conical shaped con- no. 2011–46169.
nection is an alternative way to include controlled mini- [3] Ingebrigtsen, T., Løset, Ø., Nielsen, S. G.: Fatigue design and
mum tolerances in the design in order to control vertical overall safety of grouted pile sleeve connections. Presented at
settlements. This design methodology has been included Offshore Technology Conference, 22, Houston, Texas, 7–10
in DNV-OS-J101 (2011). May 1990.
A joint industry project to derive test data on cylindri- [4] Harwood, R. G., Billington, C. J., Buitrago, J., Sele, A., Sharp,
cal shaped grouted connections with shear keys subjected J. V.: Grouted Pile to Sleeve connections: Design Provisions
for the New ISO Standard for Offshore Structures. OMAE
to alternating dynamic loading has also been performed. A
1996, ASME.
design methodology to account for the dynamic bending
[5] DNV-OS-J101: Design of Offshore Wind Turbine Structures.
moment and the vertical force in connections with shear October, 2011.
keys has been developed for the Ultimate Limit State and [6] ISO 19902 Fixed Steel Offshore Structures. 2007.
the Fatigue Limit State. The results have been compared [7] Schaumann, P., Lochte-Holtgreven, S., Wilke, F.: Bending
with laboratory test data from simulated capacity of large Tests on Grouted Joints for Monopile Support Structures.
diameter connections. It is found that the design proce- DEWEK2010 – 10th German Wind Energy Conference, Bre-
dure provides design data that are in good agreement with men. 2010.
the measured laboratory data. [8] Schaumann, P., Wilke, F., Lochte-Holtgreven, S.: Grout-Ver-
Also an S-N curve for assessment of the fatigue ca- bindungen von Monopile-Gründungsstrukturen – Trag- und Er-
pacity of cylindrical shaped grouted connections with shear müdungsverhalten. Stahlbau 77 (2008), H. 9, S. 647–658.
[9] Sørensen, E. V.: Fatigue Life of High Performance Grout in
keys subjected to reversed loading has been developed.
Wet or Dry Environment for Wind Turbine Grouted Con-
The new design methodology for cylindrical shaped
nection. EWEA Offshore November 2011, Amsterdam, The
grouted connections with shear keys will be proposed in- Netherlands. Also NCR No 44, 2011.
cluded in a revised version of DNV-OS-J101 during 2012. [10] Lotsberg, I.: Summary Report from the JIP on the Capacity
Even if we consider that a lot of significant informa- of Cylindrical Shaped Grouted Connections with Shear Keys.
tion has been achieved in the two joint industry projects DNV Report No. 2012-0371. 2012.
performed, it is also realised that there are a number of pa-
rameters that should be further investigated. Examples of Autoren dieses Beitrages:
this are effect of grout strength on capacity, effect of water M. Sc., Dr.-Ing. Inge Lotsberg, Inge.Lotsberg@dnv.com
on capacity, effect of shear key geometry and spacing on M. Sc. Andrzej Serednicki, Andrzej.Serednicki@dnv.com
capacity, and capacity of typical pile sleeve connections in M. Sc. Andreas Lervik, Andreas.Lervik@dnv.com
Det Norske Veritas (DNV),
jacket structures subjected to reversed combined axial,
Veritasveien 1, 1322 Høvik,
shear and moment loading.
Norway

Acknowledgement M. Sc. Håkon Bertnes, Hakon.Bertnes@kvaerner.com


Kvaerner Jacket Technology AS
Acknowledgement is made to the JIP Partners for their PO Box 74, 1326 Lysaker,
support and contribution to this work: Norway

704 Stahlbau 81 (2012), Heft 9