Impact of Initial In-Situ Stress Field on Soil Response During Cavity Expansion Using Discrete Element Simulation

Publication Type:
Conference Proceeding
New Developments in Materials for Infrastructure Sustainability and the Contemporary Issues in Geo-environmental Engineering, 2018, pp. 1 - 10
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Discrete element method (DEM) is gaining its popularity in investigating many complicated geotechnical related problems due to its discontinuous nature in simulating granular materials. Particularly when simulating the processes involving large deformation and displacement of soil (e.g. pile penetration), DEM demonstrates distinct advantages over other numerical solutions that may confront convergence problems. Despite the facts that DEM analysis has been conducted to study the mechanism of the cavity expansion, there is a very limited number of investigations conducted to study the effects of the initial stress field on the soil response. Hence, in this study, a three-dimensional numerical analysis has been conducted using PFC3D to investigate the soil response under different initial stress conditions during cavity expansion. A large-scale model containing an adequate number of particles has been constructed to simulate the soil medium, in which, microscopic contact properties were calibrated against existing experimental data to mimic the realistic behaviour of a sandy soil. To examine the effects of the initial in-situ stresses, several cylindrical cavities were created and expanded gradually from an initial radius to a final radius, while stress and strain variations were monitored during the entire simulation. It should be noted that the internal cylinder boundary was loaded using a constant strain rate, while the outer boundary was controlled through a servo mechanism to maintain a constant external pressure adopting appropriate subroutines. The results obtained confirmed that the initial stress conditions have significant effects on the soil response during cavity expansion.
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