A memory-enhanced p-y model for piles in sand accounting for cyclic ratcheting and gapping effects

Evangelos Kementzetzidis, Federico Pisano*, Andrei V. Metrikine

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

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The analysis of cyclically loaded piles is acquiring ever greater relevance in the field of geotechnical engineering, most recently in relation to the design of offshore monopiles. In this area, predicting the gradual accumulation of pile deflection under prolonged cycling is key to performing relevant serviceability assessments, for which simplified pile–soil interaction models that can be calibrated against common geotechnical data are strongly needed. This study proposes a new cyclic p−y model for piles in sand that takes a step further towards meeting the mentioned requirements. The model is formulated in the framework of memory-enhanced bounding surface plasticity, and extends to cyclic loading conditions the previous monotonic, CPT-based p−y formulation by Suryasentana and Lehane (2016); additionally, detailed modelling of pile–soil gapping is introduced to cope with the presence of unsaturated sand layers or, more generally, of cohesive soil behaviour. After detailed description of all model capabilities, field data from an onshore cyclic pile loading test are simulated using the proposed p−y model, with the most relevant parameters calibrated against available CPT data. Satisfactory agreement is shown between experimental and numerical results, which supports the practical applicability of the model and the need for further studies on a fully CPT-based calibration.
Original languageEnglish
Article number104810
Number of pages20
JournalComputers and Geotechnics
Publication statusPublished - 2022


  • Piles
  • Cyclic loading
  • Ratcheting
  • Gapping
  • p-y modelling
  • Bounding surface plasticity


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