Pullout capacity of single and biwing anchors in a soft clay deposit: model investigation in a centrifuge and FEM predictions

J. Fanning, V. Sivakumar, S. Nanda, K. Gavin, T. Murray, A. Bradshaw, J. Black, S. Jalilvand

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


One of the ways to install plate anchors in deep seabed is to drop the anchor system from the sea level and allow it to initially embed in the seabed under its own weight. Further dragging would cause the anchor to rotate and embed further into the seabed. There could be difficulties of getting the anchor plate horizontal or mooring line to be perpendicular to the plate where the maximum pullout capacity could be achieved. As part of the investigations, various aspects of the plate performance were examined through centrifuge testing in which the plate orientation and pullout angles were varied. It was presumed that dynamic stability of the anchor (during field installation) can be achieved by having the plate in biwing configuration. Therefore, the performance of the biwing anchors having different spacing between the plates was also examined in the centrifuge testing program and the findings were compared with predictions obtained through finite-element modeling (FEM). Both pullout directions and the plate angles considerably influenced the pullout capacity factors. The comparison between the predicted pullout capacity using FEM and measured pullout capacity for biwing anchors at shallow embedment depths was excellent. However, the FEM-predicted pullout capacity was noticeably lower than the measured ones for deep anchors. Pullout capacity of biwing anchors at shallow embedment depth increased as the spacing between the plates S increased from 0 to 0.5B. However, there appears to be a slight reduction in the performance in deep embedment anchors. This is also reflected in FEM findings.
Original languageEnglish
Article number04023050
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Geotechnical and Geoenvironmental Engineering
Issue number7
Early online date08 May 2023
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2023


  • Geotechnical Engineering and Engineering Geology
  • General Environmental Science


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