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Interaction of a rigid beam resting on a strong granular layer overlying weak granular soil: Multi-methodological investigations

Zuhair Kadhim Jahanger, S. Joseph Antony, Elaine Martin, Lutz Richter
Journal of Terramechanics, Volume 79, 2018, Pages 23-32, ISSN 0022-4898,

Abstract: In the geotechnical and terramechanical engineering applications, precise understandings are yet to be established on the off-road structures interacting with complex soil profiles. Several theoretical and experimental approaches have been used to measure the ultimate bearing capacity of the layered soil, but with a significant level of differences depending on the failure mechanisms assumed. Furthermore, local displacement fields in layered soils are not yet studied well. Here, the bearing capacity of a dense sand layer overlying loose sand beneath a rigid beam is studied under the plain-strain condition. The study employs using digital particle image velocimetry (DPIV) and finite element method (FEM) simulations. In the FEM, an experimentally characterised constitutive relation of the sand grains is fed as an input. The results of the displacement fields of the layered soil based DPIV and FEM simulations agreed well. From the DPIV experiments, a correlation between the slip surface angle and the thickness of the dense sand layer has been determined. Using this, a new and simple approach is proposed to predict theoretically the ultimate bearing capacity of the layered sand. The approach presented here could be extended more easily for analysing other complex soil profiles in the ground-structure interactions in future.

Keywords: Granular mechanics; Bearing capacity; Layered soil; FEM; DPIV; Failure mechanism