Remoulded shear strength is an important design parameter for several offshore geotechnical engineering applications, including design of skirted anchor and foundation systems, and for submarine slope stability analysis. However, there are significant differences in the equipment and test procedures used in practice to measure the remoulded shear strength. The paper gives results from tests conducted on a variety of clays with very soft to stiff consistencies, using various methods of remoulding and laboratory devices. The results show that different remoulded shear strength values were obtained depending on the method of remoulding and test device used. In some cases the difference was significant, which could have important consequences for design. Based on the results of this study, the paper recommends remoulding procedures and laboratory test devices for measuring the remoulded shear strength of clays.

1. Introduction

The remoulded undrained shear strength (sur) of fine grained soils is an important parameter in the design of offshore infrastructure and for analysis of submarine landslides. For example, in the design of skirted (suction) anchors and foundations, it is a key parameter for calculation of the penetration resistance and the under pressure required for installation. The sur also influences the side shear resistance after penetration is completed (i.e. setup), and thereby the holding capacity of an anchor and the bearing capacity and settlement of a skirted foundation. The geotechnical engineering literature shows that there is a large variety of laboratory and in situ equipment being used to measure sur. Laboratory measurement of sur has the significant advantage over measurement of the intact undrained shear strength (su) because sample disturbance for the former is generally not an issue. However, it remains a relatively complex parameter to evaluate, as results can vary greatly depending on the degree of remoulding and the measurement method used.

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