Modelling the behaviour of sensitive clays experiencing large deformations using non-local regularisation techniques

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Abstract

This paper presents a methodology to simulate the strain-softening-hardening response of sensitive clays when subjected to extensive remoulding. A non-local strain-softening technique is implemented into the Abaqus Finite Element Analysis (FEA) software through its user defined material subroutine UMAT, in the form of a critical state based strain-softening constitutive model. For the comparison of conventional and non-local formulations, a series of analyses have been performed investigating mesh dependency issues and the validity of a simple softening-scaling rule for practical applications. The non-local model significantly reduces solution mesh-dependency for small-strain analyses of biaxial shear and updated Lagrangian analyses of buried pipe uplift. Finally, the non-local model is applied to simulate undrained cycles of penetration and the consolidated-undrained capacity of a T-bar in kaolin clay. This analysis highlights the limitations of the use of standard element tests (e.g. triaxial tests) to calibrate the model input parameters that control the strain-softening aspect of the constitutive law, and the need for a constitutive law that captures the partial recovery of sensitivity during consolidation.

Original languageEnglish
Article number104025
JournalComputers and Geotechnics
Volume133
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - May 2021

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