Real-time determination of sandy soil stiffness during vibratory compaction incorporating machine learning method for intelligent compaction

Publication Type:
Journal Article
Journal of Rock Mechanics and Geotechnical Engineering, 2022, 14, (5), pp. 1609-1625
Issue Date:
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An emerging real-time ground compaction and quality control, known as intelligent compaction (IC), has been applied for efficiently optimising the full-area compaction. Although IC technology can provide real-time assessment of uniformity of the compacted area, accurate determination of the soil stiffness required for quality control and design remains challenging. In this paper, a novel and advanced numerical model simulating the interaction of vibratory drum and soil beneath is developed. The model is capable of evaluating the nonlinear behaviour of underlying soil subjected to dynamic loading by capturing the variations of damping with the cyclic shear strains and degradation of soil modulus. The interaction of the drum and the soil is simulated via the finite element method to develop a comprehensive dataset capturing the dynamic responses of the drum and the soil. Indeed, more than a thousand three-dimensional (3D) numerical models covering various soil characteristics, roller weights, vibration amplitudes and frequencies were adopted. The developed dataset is then used to train the inverse solver using an innovative machine learning approach, i.e. the extended support vector regression, to simulate the stiffness of the compacted soil by adopting drum acceleration records. Furthermore, the impacts of the amplitude and frequency of the vibration on the level of underlying soil compaction are discussed. The proposed machine learning approach is promising for real-time extraction of actual soil stiffness during compaction. Results of the study can be employed by practising engineers to interpret roller drum acceleration data to estimate the level of compaction and ground stiffness during compaction.
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