Publication news

Comparison of SPH simulations and cone index tests for cohesive soils

Christopher Goodin, Jody D. Priddy
Journal of Terramechanics, Volume 66, August 2016, Pages 49-57, ISSN 0022-4898,

The cone penetrometer test has been used for decades to quantify the soft soil mobility performance of ground vehicles. As physics-based methods for modeling soil are developed, it is necessary to validate these simulations against databases relating Cone Index (CI) to vehicle mobility. However, in order to make this comparison, the relationship between the engineering properties of the soil (density, bulk modulus) and the cone index must be determined. To that end, in this work, simulations of cone penetrometer tests in cohesive soil using the smoothed particle hydrodynamics (SPH) method are presented. Three dimensional simulations were conducted and compared to laboratory measurements of cone index in soft soil. The SPH model is parametrized using the elastic moduli of the soil (bulk and shear modulus), the soil density, and the soil cohesion. A novel method which includes skin friction is employed to calculate the forces exerted on the cone tip by the soil. The simulations give good agreement with the measurements, with a coefficient of determination R 2 = 0.76 . These results indicate that SPH may be viable for simulating soft soil in conditions relevant for vehicle mobility considerations.
Keywords: Cone index; SPH; Mohr–Coulomb