According to the current version of the Eurocode 3, buckling analyses must be addressed in the design of tubular piles. Unfortunately, the state of the art does not allow the designer to take into consideration the presumably beneficial constraining effects provided by the soil surrounding the tubes. As a result, the verification is too conservative. Within the framework of an improved buckling analysis, experimental and numerical investigations of a laterally loaded pile were conducted. In this paper, the results provided by several numerical models are compared to experimental data. The comparison revealed that simple models provide fairly good results and can be used to design the investigated case.


Large tubular piles are used in different growth-oriented major civil engineering applications (single bearing piles in offshore engineering, quay walls for ports and harbours, cofferdams for deep urban excavations, etc). According to experts (Gijt, 1998) container transport and container vessel growth will both accelerate in the future. Already nowadays and in the near future many quay walls have to be adapted to the new generation of container vessels. These new quay walls have to be of greater depth due to the increased draught of the ships. In the near future the demand for heavy quay walls will increase. Besides that, the type of quay wall, the lack of space, and environmental reasons in densely populated areas enforce engineers to put more and more infrastructures below ground-level (car parks, several railway systems, etc.). This trend is expected to continue or even to accelerate in the future. To that end, the use of economical cofferdams for deep excavation is of essential need. The only available steel solution for these types of construction (quay wall or cofferdams for deep excavation) is the combiwall. According to the current version of Eurocode 3 (EN 1993-5), buckling analyses must be addressed in the design of such embedded steel structures.

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