Modelling chemo-hydro-mechanical behaviour of unsaturated clays: a feasibility study

Z. Liu, Nathalie Boukpeti, X. Li, F. Collin, J-P. Radu, T. Hueckel, R. Charlier

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    Effective capabilities of combined chemo-elasto-plastic and unsaturated soil models to simulate chemohydro-mechanical (CHM) behaviour of clays are examined in numerical simulations through selected boundary value problems. The objective is to investigate the feasibility of approaching such complex material behaviour numerically by combining two existing models. The chemo-mechanical effects are described using the concept of chemical softening consisting of reduction of the pre-consolidation pressure proposed originally by Hueckel (Can. Geotech. J. 1992; 29:1071-1086; Int. J. Numer. Anal. Methods Geomech. 1997; 21:43-72). An additional chemical softening mechanism is considered, consisting in a decrease of cohesion with an increase in contaminant concentration. The influence of partial saturation on the constitutive behaviour is modelled following Barcelona basic model (BBM) formulation (Geotech. 1990; 40(3):405-430; Can. Geotech. J. 1992; 29:1013-1032).The equilibrium equations combined with the CHM constitutive relations, and the governing equations for flow of fluids and contaminant transport, are solved numerically using finite element. The emphasis is laid on understanding the role that the individual chemical effects such as chemo-elastic swelling, or chemo-plastic consolidation, or finally, chemical loss of cohesion have in the overall response of the soil mass. The numerical problems analysed concern the chemical effects in response to wetting of a clay specimen with an organic liquid in rigid wall consolidometer, during biaxial loading up to failure, and in response to fresh water influx during tunnel excavation in swelling clay. Copyright (c) 2005 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)919-940
    JournalInternational Journal for Numerical and Analytical Methods in Geomechanics
    Issue number9
    Publication statusPublished - 2005


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