The Response of Pile-Guided Floats Subjected to Dynamic Loading

AIDC project number: MISC2


Andrew T. Metzger (UAF)


Alaska Department of Transportation & Public Facilities

  • Start Date: Oct 1, 2008
  • End Date: Sep 30, 2011

Project Summary

Pile-guided floats can be an alternative to stationary berthing structures. ADOT&PF is considering using floating piers at certain stops along the Alaska Marine Highway System. A potential design calls for the floats to be held in place by piles (called guide-piles) that allow vertical rise and fall during tidal changes. The floats also undergo other varying forces, such as wind-generated waves and the weight of cargo and people as ships load and unload at the dock. There is little design information available concerning how this dynamic loading will affect the floats. This project is developing a rational basis for estimating the dynamic response of floating pile-guided structures. Researchers will develop a dynamic analytical model for an idealized single-degree-of-freedom system, as well as a multi-degree-of-freedom system. Both models will include functions that represent wave action and vessel loading over time. At the project's end, AMHS and ADOT&PF will have a validated model and a ready-to-implement tool capable of providing any engineer with the necessary insight into good design criteria for guide-piles.