In this study, a series of model tests are performed on sand to investigate the penetration characteristics of the suction pile. It was shown that the relative density has significant influence on the penetration response. The amount of soil heaving increased greatly with increase in the relative density. Back-calculated Kf, which is defined as the ratio of the permeability of the soil inside the suction pile to the surrounding soil outside the pile, is shown to be affected by the relative density. The estimated Kf are shown to be 2 ~ 3, depending on the relative density. The results highlight that in dense sands, large volume increase is expected inside the pile and thus can result in reduction in the capacity of the suction pile.

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