Prediction of the bearing behavior of vertical loaded shallow foundations is typically done using the classical bearing capacity approach. This approach is very sensitive to the friction angle assumed in the calculation. A conservative estimate of the bearing capacity is required for most applications, hence uncertainties in the friction angle may be absorbed by the safety factor applied. Spudcans are used to found mobile jack-up platforms in the oil and gas industry as well as in the offshore wind energy industry. Contrary to the classical approach, the bearing capacity of spudcans has to be predicted accurately. Spudcans are penetrated into the seabed and a continuous bearing failure proceeds until the target capacity is met. A Coupled Eulerian-Lagrangian (CEL) approach is used to simulate the penetration process of spudcans into silica sand. The sand is modeled using a hypoplastic constitutive model to capture the influence of the void ratio and stress state for example. A parametric study of foundation diameter and enclosed cone angle is presented. The numerical model is validated against results from centrifuge experiments of flat and conical circular footings penetrating into silica sand. A first empirical approach to estimate the bearing capacity depending on the diameter and enclosed cone angle is given for silica sand.

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