Influence of Pile Diameter and Aspect Ratio on the Lateral Response of Monopiles in Sand with Different Relative Densities

Huan Wang, Lizhong Wang, Yi Hong, Amin Askarinejad, Ben He, Hualin Pan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)
63 Downloads (Pure)


The large-diameter monopiles are the most preferred foundation used in offshore wind farms. However, the influence of pile diameter and aspect ratio on the lateral bearing behavior of monopiles in sand with different relative densities has not been systematically studied. This study presents a series of well-calibrated finite-element (FE) analyses using an advanced state dependent constitutive model. The FE model was first validated against the centrifuge tests on the large-diameter monopiles. Parametric studies were performed on rigid piles with different diameters (D = 4–10 m) and aspect ratios (L/D = 3–7.5) under a wide range of loading heights (e = 5–100 m) in sands with different relative densities (Dr = 40%, 65%, 80%). The API and PISA p-y models were systematically compared and evaluated against the FE simulation results. The numerical results revealed a rigid rotation failure mechanism of the rigid pile, which is independent of pile diameter and aspect ratio. The computed soil pressure coefficient (K = p/Dσ v) of different diameter piles at same rotation is a function of z/L (z is depth) rather than z/D. The force–moment diagrams at different deflections were quantified in sands of different relative density. Based on the observed pile–soil interaction mechanism, a simple design model was proposed to calculate the combined capacity of rigid piles.

Original languageEnglish
Article number618
Pages (from-to)1-22
Number of pages22
JournalJournal of Marine Science and Engineering
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2021


  • 3D finite element analysis
  • Combined capacity
  • Hypoplastic
  • Large diameter
  • Monopile
  • Rigid
  • Sand


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