Finite deformation simulation of CPTu tests in saturated structured clays

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In this paper a finite deformation version of an isotropic hardening elastoplastic constitutive model for bonded soils is used to reproduce the behaviour of a saturated soft structured clay during the penetration of a piezocone in standard CPTu tests. The formulation of the model is based on the multiplicative split of the deformation gradient and on the existence of a free energy function for the elastic behaviour. The model is equipped with two bonding–related internal variables which provide a macroscopic description of the effects of clay structure. The mechanical effects of structure degradation associated to the plastic deformations are quantified by suitable evolution equations. In order to deal with strain localization, typically observed in bonded geomaterials upon yielding, the model has been equipped with a non–local version of the hardening laws for the internal variables, which has proven to be capable of regularizing the pathological mesh dependence of classical finite element solutions in the post–localization regime. The results of the numerical simulations, conducted for different soil permeabilities and bond strengths, show that the model is capable of capturing: a) the development of plastic deformations induced by the advancement of the cone tip; b) the destructuration of the clay associated with such plastic deformations; c) the space and time evolution of pore water pressure as the cone tip advances. The possibility of modelling the CPTu tests in a rational and computationally efficient way opens a promising new perspective for their interpretation in geotechnical site investigations.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationUK Association for Computational Mechanics (UKACM) Conference 2021 proceedings
Place of PublicationUnited Kingdom
PublisherLoughborough University
Publication statusPublished - 14 May 2021
EventUK Association for Computational Mechanics (UKACM) Conference 2021 - Loughborough University, United Kingdom
Duration: 14 Apr 202116 Apr 2021


ConferenceUK Association for Computational Mechanics (UKACM) Conference 2021
Abbreviated titleUK ACM 2021
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom
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