Finite Deformation Modelling of Cone Penetration Tests in Saturated Structured Clays

Matteo O. Ciantia (Lead / Corresponding author), Kateryna Oliynyk, Claudio Tamagnini

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


In this work, the complex coupled deformation and flow processes occurring in the soil around a CPTu penetrometer during a test in structured natural clays are investigated by means of the Geotechnical Particle Finite Element Method (GPFEM) code. The GPFEM implementation adopted incorporates a fully coupled hydro-mechanical formulation, based on regularized, mixed low-order linear strain triangles. To capture the relevant features of the mechanical response of natural structured clays, the soil behaviour is described using a finite deformation, non-associative elastic-plastic model for this class of geomaterials, referred as FD_Milan model. The model formulation is based on a multiplicative decomposition of the deformation gradient and on the adoption of an elastic response based on the existence of a suitable free energy function. Two bonding-related internal variables, quantifying the effects of structure on the yield locus, are incorporated to provide a macroscopic description of mechanical destructuration effects. To deal with strain localization phenomena, the model is equipped with a non-local version of the hardening laws. The numerical model has demonstrated capable of capturing the destructuration associated with plastic deformations around the cone tip; the space and time evolution of pore water pressure as the cone tip advances; the effect of soil permeability on predicted excess pore water pressures, and the effect of soil bonding on predicted values of cone tip resistance.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationChallenges and Innovations in Geomechanics
Subtitle of host publicationProceedings of the 16th International Conference of IACMAG
EditorsMarco Barla, Alice Di Donna, Donatella Sterpi, Alessandra Insana
Number of pages8
ISBN (Electronic)9783031128516
ISBN (Print)9783031128509
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 31 Jul 2022
Event16th International Conference on IACMAG 2022 - Torino, Italy
Duration: 30 Aug 20222 Sep 2022

Publication series

NameLecture Notes in Civil Engineering
ISSN (Print)2366-2557
ISSN (Electronic)2366-2565


Conference16th International Conference on IACMAG 2022
Internet address


  • CPTu tests
  • PFEM
  • Non-local finite deformation plasticity
  • Structured soils


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