Numerical Analysis of T-bar penetration in soft clay

Mark Randolph, K.H. Andersen

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    53 Citations (Scopus)


    The penetration resistance of a cylindrical T-bar penetrometer in soft clay is affected by features such as anisotropy, high strain rates, and gradual strain-softening during passage of the T-bar. In order to evaluate these effects, a detailed numerical study has been undertaken, comprising: (1) finite-element analysis; and (2) a strain path approach within the upper bound plasticity mechanism. These studies showed that the T-bar factor is relatively insensitive to the degree of strength anisotropy, provided the penetration resistance is normalized by the average shear strength. Strain rates were found to be six or seven orders of magnitude greater than typical laboratory testing rates, and about three orders of magnitude higher than in a standard vane test. However, the effect of high strain rates is partly compensated by remolding of the soil, where average strains of 400% are imposed on the soil. Charts are presented showing how the separate effects of high strain rates and partial softening may be combined to derive a T-bar factor for a given soil. The paper concludes with a discussion of the measurement of remolded shear strength using cyclic T-bar tests, and interpretation of the T-bar resistance in fully remolded soil.© 2006 ASCE
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)411-420
    JournalInternational Journal of Geomechanics
    Issue number6
    Publication statusPublished - 2006


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