Monopiles installed by impact driving are the preferred system for the foundation of offshore wind turbines in water depths up to 40 m. The vibration technique as alternative installation method has big advantages regarding piling noise and installation time. Much experience exists for the design and installation of impact driven piles. Within the research project ZykLaMP, the lack of experience concerning vibrated monopiles shall be faced by means of large-scaled model investigations regarding the lateral load-bearing behavior.

Therefore, open ended steel pipe piles (L = 2.4 m, Dpile = 0.6 m) are installed into dense sand by means of impact and vibratory pile driving and then subjected to cyclic lateral loading. This paper focusses on pile driving predictions and measurements during the installation process.

Pile driving post-predictions were carried out based on a simple force equilibrium approach. Model piles were installed using two different vibro hammers with different eccentric moments and one impact hammer. Measurements of strains and accelerations were carried out to investigate dynamic movements during pile driving. Earth pressure transducers were used to investigate the development of soil stresses due to the installation process.

Measurements show that even at high acceleration amplitudes a refusal to vibratory driving may occur at a certain penetration depth. Soil stresses in the vicinity of the pile decrease to about 50 % due to vibratory driving which is one reason for the friction fatigue phenomenon.

Drivability studies using the force equilibrium model give rough predictions about whether or not a pile can be driven to a certain penetration depth but are quite sensitive to input parameters. For the model tests, post-predictions gave reasonable results.

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