An important part of suction anchor design is the determination of the shear strength along the outside skirt wall. Previous work has suggested that when a suction anchor in clay is installed by applying underpressure inside the anchor, the external skin friction may be reduced compared to the skin friction expected for driven piles. The primary reason for this reduction is that the movement of soil at and beneath the caisson tip during installation will be influenced by whether the anchor is penetrated by weight or by underpressure. To further investigate the impact of installation by underpressure, additional finite element analyses have been performed where the skirt installation process has been better followed than in the previous analyses. The movement of soil around the caisson wall was studied for both a flat caisson tip and a tip with a tapered edge of 45° towards the outside of the anchor. The tapering was made to see if it would cause more of the displaced soil to move outside the anchor and thereby increase the mean total stresses and the shear strength along the outside anchor wall. The analyses were made with two separate wall roughness factors for a typical anchor in soft clay.

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