Evaluation of shear-key misalignment in grouted connections for offshore wind tower under axial loading

Seungyeon Lee, Seunghoon Seo, Seungjun Kim, Chulsang Yoo, Goangseup Zi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In this study, we investigated the effect of shear-key placement on the performance of grouted connections in offshore wind-turbine structures. Considering the challenges of height control during installation, we designed and analyzed three grouted connection configurations. We compared the crack patterns and strain distribution in the shear keys under axial loading. The results indicate that the misalignment of shear keys significantly influences the ultimate load capacity of grouted connections. Notably, when the shear keys were positioned facing each other, the ultimate load decreased by approximately 15%, accompanied by the propagation of irregular cracks in the upper shear keys. Furthermore, the model with 50% misalignment in the shear-key placement exhibited the highest ultimate strength, indicating a more efficient load resistance than the reference model. This indicates that tensile-load-induced cracking and the formation of compressive struts in opposite directions significantly affect the structural integrity of grouted connections. These results demonstrate the importance of considering buckling effects in the design of grouted connections, particularly given the thin and slender nature of the inner sleeves. This study provides valuable insights into the design and analysis of offshore wind-turbine structures, highlighting the need for refined design formulas that account for shifts in shear-key placement and their structural implications.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)509-518
Number of pages10
JournalComputers and Concrete
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2024 May

Bibliographical note

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  • axial capacity
  • experimental test
  • grouted connection
  • offshore wind turbine
  • shear-key misalignment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computational Mechanics


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