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      Development and Application of an in Situ Penetrator for Rapid Strength Testing of Submarine Sediment

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          In marine engineering, the strength of a submarine sediment is an indispensable parameter for assessment of construction. In this study, a free-fall cone penetrator named IPen was developed to realize a rapid and efficient measurement of sediment strength. The equipment is characterized by modular design and self-contained data acquisition. It is equipped with an acceleration sensor, a water pressure sensor, and a piezocone penetration test (CPTu) probe. It is designed to be released from near seabed surface with a releaser and then fall freely to provide a higher penetration velocity. Its maximum working depth is approximately 2500 m and maximum penetration depth is approximately 3 m. To derive the correlation between penetration resistance and sediment strength, a calibrator was devised to determine the penetration-rate factor. In addition, the factor applicable to in situ test points was determined in laboratory experiments. In June 2016, the IPen was tested in situ in the South Yellow Sea, China, during a shared voyage funded by the National Science Foundation. Meanwhile, undisturbed column samples were collected for laboratory tests. Based on the in situ test results, it was demonstrated that the IPen could accurately record the working states of various sensors during the freely falling course. IPen test results reliably reflected the sediment strength at all the testing points when compared with laboratory calibration tests, in situ vane tests and penetration tests, laboratory penetration tests, and unconsolidated and undrained triaxial compression tests.

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          Author and article information

          Journal of Ocean University of China
          Science Press and Springer (China )
          07 May 2019
          01 April 2019
          : 18
          : 2
          : 328-338
          1 School of Transportation Science and Engineering, Beihang University, Beijing 100191, China
          2 Shandong Provincial Key Laboratory of Marine Environment and Geological Engineering, Ocean University of China, Qingdao 266100, China
          Author notes
          *Corresponding author: ZHANG Minsheng
          Copyright © Ocean University of China, Science Press and Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany 2019.

          The copyright to this article, including any graphic elements therein (e.g. illustrations, charts, moving images), is hereby assigned for good and valuable consideration to the editorial office of Journal of Ocean University of China, Science Press and Springer effective if and when the article is accepted for publication and to the extent assignable if assignability is restricted for by applicable law or regulations (e.g. for U.S. government or crown employees).

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