Investigation of the Penetration Resistance Coefficients for the CPT-Based Method for Suction Bucket Foundation Installation in Sand

Francisco Manuel Garcia Rodriguez*, Lars Bo Ibsen, Aleksandra Katarzyna Koteras, Amin Barari

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


The current practice for estimating the penetration resistance of suction bucket foundations requires breaking down the penetration resistance into tip and skirt resistance components. Cone penetration test (CPT)-based methodology correlates these components to the cone resistance measurements through empirical coefficients. In this study, an experimental campaign involving suction installation, jacking, and pullout tests on suction buckets with a large aspect ratio (i.e., L/D = 1, where L is the skirt length and D is the diameter) atop sand deposits of varying relative densities was performed to identify the important factors that are involved in the installation procedure but are not well understood. The following factors were studied: the influence of the friction area in caissons of round and modular shapes, the dilative behavior of sand, the soil-structure interface friction angle, and the penetration depth. The experimental results of the jacking installation tests indicated that a larger friction area significantly increased the penetration resistance; however, this effect was completely diminished when foundation suction-assisted penetration was used. Based on these results, modified friction resistance and tip resistance factors in the empirical expressions accounting for the relative density and penetration depth were proposed. Finally, the required suction pressure was back-analyzed by utilizing these empirical relations, reduction factors, and the critical pressure.

Original languageEnglish
Article number04022063
JournalInternational Journal of Geomechanics
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The work presented in this paper is a part of the Energy Technology Development and Demonstration Program (EUDP) project, entitled “Offshore Wind Suction Bucket on an Industrial Scale,” both Part 1 and Part 2 (Project Nos. 64015-0625 and 64018-0066). It was also funded by the European Union’s Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation Program under Grant No. 818153. Additionally, this study was funded as part of the i4Offshore Project (Integrated Implementation of Industrial Innovations for Offshore Wind Cost Reduction). The authors greatly appreciate the financial support.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 American Society of Civil Engineers.


  • Cone penetration test-based method
  • Drained penetration resistance
  • Required suction
  • Soil-structure interface friction angle
  • Suction bucket foundations
  • Suction installation


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