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Non-Linear finite element analysis of cone penetration in layered sandy loam soil-considering precompression stress state

Tekeste, M. Z., Tollner, E. W., Raper, R. L., Way, T. R., Johnson, C. E.
Terramechanics Journal 2009 v.46 no.5 pp. 229-239
0022-4898; 1879-1204
Agricultural Research Service, algorithms, bulk density, data collection, finite element analysis, hardpans, layered soils, models, modulus of elasticity, prediction, resistance to penetration, sandy loam soils, soil compaction, soil water, soil water content, subsoil
Axisymmetric finite element (FE) method was developed to simulate cone penetration process in layered granular soil. The FE was modeled using ABAQUS/Explicit, a commercially available package. Soil was considered as a non-linear elastic plastic material which was modeled using variable elastic parameters of Young’s Modulus and Poisson’s ratio and Drucker–Prager criterion with yield stress dependent material hardening property. The material hardening parameters of the model were estimated from the USDA-ARS National Soil Dynamics Laboratory – Auburn University (NSDL-AU) soil compaction model. The stress–strain relationship in the NSDLAU compaction model was modified to account for the different soil moisture conditions and the influence of precompression stress states of the soil layers. A surface contact pair (‘slave-master’) algorithm in ABAQUS/Explicit was used to simulate the insertion of a rigid cone (RAX2 ABAQUS element) into deformable and layered soil medium (CAX4R ABAQUS element). The FE formulation was verified using cone penetration data collected on a soil chamber of Norfolk sandy loam soil which was prepared in two compaction treatments that varied in bulk density in the hardpan layer of (1) 1.64 Mg m−3 and (2) 1.71 Mg m−3. The FE model successfully simulated the trend of cone penetration in layered soils indicating the location of the sub-soil compacted (hardpan) layer and peak cone penetration resistance. Modification of the NSDL-AU model to account for the actual soil moisture content and inclusion of the influence of precompression stress into the strain behavior of the NSDL-AU model improved the performance of FE in predicting the peak cone penetration resistance. Modification of the NSDL-AU model resulted in an improvement of about 42% in the finite element-predicted soil cone penetration forces compared with the FE results that used the NSDL-AU ‘virgin’ model.