PLAXIS
PLAXIS Nº 12  JUNE 2002
Editorial
Some time has passed since the appearance in order to be able to proceed with a
of our last bulletin no 11, but the PLAXIS geotechnical design. In this issue Prof. Vermeer
team did not sit still. Not only was a new discusses Oedometer stiffness of Soft Soils.
director appointed for PLAXIS B.V. which
will be introduced further on, also a In addition to the aforementioned, Prof.
number of other new teammembers have Schweiger who also is a regular contributor to
come to work for PLAXIS. The Plaxisteam our bulletin discusses the relation between
has extended with four new people in Skemptons pore pressure parameters A and B
order to improve the capability to and the performance of the Hardening Soil
accommodate for the demand on new model.
plaxis developments. The Plaxisteam
consist of 14 people. In the next bulletin, Furthermore we are fortunate to have new
we will briefly introduce them to you. contributions with respect to Benchmarking;
two contributions on benchmarking are
Bulletin of the New Developments which will be discussed in presented here, one on Shield tunnelling and
PLAXIS
Users Association (NL) the contribution by Dr Brinkgreve, the head of another on excavations.
our development team. He will discuss further
Plaxis bulletin
Plaxis B.V. developments such as for the release of Plaxis Again we are glad to have a number of practical
P.O. Box 572
2600 AN Delft Version 8, the progress on the PLAXflow applications; Among which are a contribution
The Netherlands program and the other 3D developments. With by Dr. Gysi, on a multianchored retaining wall,
Email:
bulletin@plaxis.nl respect to PLAXIS 2D, Version 8 is due to be and another one by Mr. Cheang from
expected after the summer holidays, as Beta Singapore on a complicated retaining wall with
IN THIS ISSUE: testing of this new program is underway, and JackIn Anchors.
the users in our regular PLAXIS course in
Editorial 1
Noordwijkerhout in January and also the Finally in the Users Forum it is shown how a
Column Vermeer 2
attendants of the advanced course have had more complicated 3D situation of a Retaining
New developments 4 some opportunity to experience this new wall with anchors is practically modelled with
Benchmarking I 9
In his regular column Prof. Vermeer will discuss Editorial Staff:
Benchmarking II 12 the use of soil parameters and especially Martin de Kant, Plaxis Users Association (NL)
Recent Activities 13 parameter estimation. Not always is it possible Marco Hutteman, Plaxis Users Association (NL)
to do a direct test for a parameter. Or sometimes Peter Brand, Plaxis B.V.
Plaxis practice I 14
in a predesign stage there is only limited
Plaxis practice II 17
information of the soil stratification. In that case Scientific Committee:
Users forum 22 it is often very convenient to have some Prof. Pieter Vermeer, Stuttgart University
Some Geometries 22 correlations between different soilparameters Dr. Ronald Brinkgreve, Plaxis bv
Agenda 24
1
PLAXIS
Column Vermeer
PLAXIS ON THE OEDOMETER STIFFNESS
One of the bestknown geotechnical
correlations reads Cc 0.9 (wL  0.1), where wL
is the liquid limit. For details, the reader is
OF SOFT SOILS referred to the book by Terzaghi and Peck
(1967). Wroth and Wood (1978) proposed the
For normally consolidated finegrained seemingly different correlation Cc 1.35IP,
soils, we have the logarithmic compression where IP is the plasticity index. In reality the
law, e = Cc log’, where De is the change two correlations are virtually identical, as the
of the void ratio, Cc the compression index plasticity index can usually be approximated as
and ’ the vertical effectivestress in one IP 0.73 (wL  0.1). Indeed, with the exception
dimensional compression. The compression of sandy silts, data for IP and wL tend to be on
index Cc is measured in oedometer tests, a straight line that is parallel to the socalled
together with other stiffness related Aline in Casagrande’s plasticity chart (see
parameters such as the swelling index and Fig. 1). On using the IpwL correlation, the
the preconsolidation stress. In this column TerzaghiPeck correlation reads Cc 1.23IP,
I will discuss correlations for the which is very close to the finding of Cc 1.35IP
compression index Cc. by Wroth and Wood. Considering the large
amount of evidence on the correlations,
It should be realized that Terzaghi and other Cc 1.35IP and IP 0.73 (wL  0.1), I conclude
founding fathers of Soil Mechanics lived in the that we may use both
10logpaper period and their findings have to
be reformulated for use in computer codes. Cc 1.35IP and Cc wL  0.1 (1)
Hence, we have to change from a 10log to a
natural logarithm in order to obtain the The latter one is only slightly different from
reformulated law, the earlier one by Terzaghi and Peck and to my
judgement also slightly better. Let us now
e =  ln’, where = Cc ln10. On top of address the modified compression index * as
this it is convenient to use strain instead of used in all advanced Plaxis models. The
void ratio, which leads to the compression law, relationship between the traditional
where = * ln’, * = (1+e) and is a compression index Cc and the modified one
finite strain increment. I will address Cc, as well * is expressed by the equation
Fig. 1: as the modified compression index * and in
Cc Cc
Atterberg limits of 21 addition the oedometer modulus Eoed. *= (2)
different soils that were (1+e) In10 4.6
tested by Engel
2
PLAXIS
ref
Eoed = Eoed ('/Pref)m with Pref = 100kPa (4)
ref
* Pref / Eoed (5)
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PLAXIS
REFERENCES:
Terzaghi, K. and Peck, R. B., "Soil Mechanics in  Extended tunnel designer, including thick
Engineering Practice", 2nd Ed, John Wiley and tunnel linings and tunnel shapes composed
Sons, New York, 1967, 729 p. of arcs, lines and corners.
 Application of userdefined (pore) pressure
Soos von, P., "Properties of Soil and Rock" (in distribution in soil clusters to simulate grout
German), Grundbautaschenbuch, Vol. 1, 6th injection.
Ed., Ernst & Sohn, Berlin, 2001, pp. 117201  Application of volume strain in soil clusters
to simulate soil volume loss or
Wroth, C. P. and Wood, D. M. , "The Correlation compensation grouting.
of Index Properties with Some Basic  Jointed Rock model
Engineering Properties of Soils", Canadian Other new modeling features are aimed at
Geotechnical Journal, Vol. 15, No. 2, 1987, pp. the modeling of soil, structures and soil
137145. structure interaction:
4
PLAXIS
PLAXIS 

Input of Skempton's Bfactor for partially
undrained soil behavior.
Hinges and rotation springs to model beam
from the past. Examples of these features are:
 Reflection of input data and applied loads
in the output program.
connections that are not fully rigid.  Report generation, for a complete
 Separate maximum anchor forces documentation of a project (including input
distinction between extension and data and applied loads).
compression).  Complete output of stresses (effective, total,
 Deactivation of interface elements to water), presented both as principal stresses,
temporarily avoid soilstructure interaction cartesian stresses;
or impermeability. also available in cross sections and in the
 Special option to create drains and wells for Curves program.
a groundwater flow calculation.  Equivalent force in crosssection plots of
normal stresses.
CALCULATION OPTIONS  Force envelopes, showing the maximum
Regarding the new calculation options, most values of structural forces over all
new features are in fact improvements of proceeding calculation phases.
'inconsistencies' from previous versions.  Scale bar of plotted quantities in the output
Examples of such improvements are: program.
 Staged Construction can be used as loading  Color plots plotted as bitmaps rather than
input in a Consolidation analysis. metafiles. This avoids the loss of colors
 A Consolidation analysis can be executed as when importing these plots in other
an Updated Mesh calculation. software.
 In an Updated Mesh calculation, the update  Parameters in material data sets can be
of water pressures with respect to the viewed (not modified) in Staged
deformed position of elements and stress Construction.
points can be included. In this way, the  Userdefined material data set colors.
settlement of soil under a continuous
phreatic level can be simulated accurately. A special feature that is available in Version 8 is
 Loads can be applied in Staged the userdefined soil models option. This
Construction, which enables a combination feature enables users to include self
of construction and loading in the same programmed soil models in the calculations.
calculation phase. The need to use Although this option is most interesting for
multipliers to apply loading has decreased. researchers and scientists at universities and
This makes the definition of calculation research institutes, it may also be interesting
phases more logical and it enhances the for practical engineers to benefit from this
flexibility to use different load combinations. work. In the future, validated and well
 Preview (picture) of defined calculation documented userdefined soil models may
phase in a separate calculations tab sheet. become available via the Internet. More
 Improved robustness of steadystate information on this feature will be placed on
groundwater flow calculations. Simplified our web site www.plaxis.nl.
input of groundwater head boundary
conditions based on general phreatic level. Registered Plaxis users will be informed when
In addition, a separate program for transient the new version 8 is available; they can benefit
groundwater flow is planned to be released from the reduced upgrade prices. Meanwhile,
at the end of 2002. new developments continue. More and more
developments are devoted to 3D modeling. We
USER FRIENDLINESS will keep you informed in future bulletins.
Many new features in the framework of 'user
friendliness' are based on users' suggestions Ronald Brinkgreve, PLAXIS BV
5
PLAXIS
NOTE ON PORE
PLAXIS PRESSURE Soil Parameters
The following parameter sets have been used
SOME REMARKS ON PORE PRESSURE and the model number given below is referred
PARAMETERS A AND B IN UNDRAINED to in the respective diagrams. A consolidation
ANALYSES WITH THE HARDENING SOIL pressure of 100 kN/m2 has been applied to all
MODEL test simulations followed by undrained
shearing of the sample.
In undrained analyses Skempton’s pore Pore Pressure Parameter B
pressure parameters A and B (Skempton, In order to check the value of parameter B in
1954) are frequently used to estimate an undrained PLAXIS analysis a hydrostatic
excess pore pressures. If we consider triaxial stress state has been applied after
conditions, Skempton’s equation reads consolidation. By doing so, the parameter A
does not come into picture and B can be
u = B [ 3 + A ( 1  3 ) ] directly calculated from u and 3, when
using undrained behaviour as material type.
where 1 and 3 are changes in total minor PLAXIS does not yield exactly 1.0 because a
and major principal stresses respectively. For slight compressibility of water is allowed for
fully saturated conditions, assuming pore water numerical reasons and therefore a value of
being incompressible, B is 1.0. Furthermore, 0.987 is obtained for the given parameters for
for elastic behaviour of the soil skeleton, A the Mohr Coulomb model. For the HS model
turns out to be 1/3. the value depends slightly on E50 and Eoed, but
also on the power m and changes with loading.
A frequently asked question in PLAXIS courses The differences however are in the order of
is “What pore pressure parameters A and B does about 3.0 to 5.0 % for the parameter sets
PLAXIS use”, if an undrained analysis is investigated here. So it is correct to say that
performed in terms of effective stresses setting Skempton’s pore pressure parameter B is
the material type to undrained? The answer is approximately 1.0 in PLAXIS, when using
“You don’t know”, except for the trivial cases undrained behaviour as material type.
of elastic or elasticperfectly plastic behaviour.
Pore Pressure Parameter A
In order to investigate this in more detail The value of parameter A is more difficult to
undrained triaxial stress paths are investigated determine. However one can evaluate A from
with the Mohr Coulomb model with and the results of the numerical simulations and
without dilatancy, and with the Hardening Soil this has been done for various parameter
Table 1 Parameter model. In the latter the influence of various combinations for the Hardening Soil model and
sets for Hardening
Soil model assumptions of E50 and Eoed has been studied. the Mohr Coulomb model.
6
PLAXIS
7
PLAXIS
8
PLAXIS
PLAXIS Reference
Skempton, A.W. (1954). The PorePressure
Coefficients A and B. Geotechnique, 4, 143
147.
Fig. 1:
Surface
settlements  H.F. Schweiger
vertical displacements [mm]
analysis A
Graz University of Technology
Benchmarking I
PLAXIS BENCHMARK NO.1: SHIELD TUNNEL
Fig. 2: 1  RESULTS
Horizontal
horizontal displacements [mm]
displacements at
surface analysis A Introduction
Unfortunately the response of the PLAXIS
community to the call for solutions for the
first PLAXIS benchmark example was not a
success at all. Probably the example
specified gave the impression of being so
straightforward that everybody would
analysis A
example on another occasion within a
different group of people dealing with
benchmarking in geotechnics. In the
following I will show the results of this
comparison together with the few PLAXIS
results I have got. As mentioned in the
Fig. 4: specification of the problem no names of
Surface
settlements  authors or programs are given, so I will not
vertical displacements [mm]
displacements at
surface analysis B necessity of validation procedures grow,
proceed to more complex examples. The
specification of Benchmark No.1 is not repeated
here; please refer to the Bulletin No.11.
9
PLAXIS
settlements 
analysis C surface) is observed and this is by no means
acceptable for an elastic analysis.
10
PLAXIS
settlements
analysis A / lateral lower values (Figure 10).
boundary at 100 m
settlements
analysis A / good agreement and also horizontal
undrained 
drained displacements are acceptable in the area of
interest (i.e. in the vicinity of the tunnel). For
case B similar results are obtained although
some small differences are still present. For case
C the comparison also matches much better
now but some differences remain here and this
11
PLAXIS
Fig. 1:
Geometric data The second benchmark is an excavation in
benchmark excavation front of a sheet pile wall supported by a
strut. Geometry, excavation steps and
location of the water table are given in
Figure 1. Fully drained conditions are
postulated. The soil is assumed to be a
homogeneous layer of medium dense sand
and the parameters for the Hardening Soil
model, the sheet pile wall and the strut are
given in Tables 1 and 2 respectively.
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PLAXIS
PLAXIS 

activation of strut at level –1.50 m,
excavation step 2 to level – 4.0 m,
groundwater lowering inside excavation to
level – 6.0 m
 excavation step 3 to level – 6.0 m
 phicreduction
REQUIRED RESULTS
1. bending moments and lateral deflections of
sheet pile wall (including values given in a temporary occupied the chair on behalf of
table) MOS Grondmechanica BV.
2. surface settlements behind wall (including
values given in a table) Since the very beginning Dr. Bakker has been
3. strut force actively involved in the program(ming) of
4. factor of safety obtained from phic PLAXIS and is a key figure in the PLAXIS
reduction for the final excavation step network. In his last position he was Head of
Construction and Development at the Tunnel
Note: As far as possible results should be engineering department for the Dutch Ministry
provided not only in print but also on disk of Public Works. Furthermore he is a lecturer
(preferably EXCEL) or in ASCIIformat respectively. at Delft University of Technology.
Alternatively, the entire PLAXISproject may be
provided. Results may also be submitted via e COURSES
mail to the address given below.
In 2001 over 400 people attended one of
Results should be sent no later than the 13 Plaxis courses that were held in
August 1st, 2002 to: several parts of the world. Most of these
courses are held on a regular basis, while
Prof. H.F. Schweiger others take place on an single basis.
13
PLAXIS
2. Project
Photo 1:
Participants in the Length of excavation: 98 m
Experienced users Width of excavation: 33 m
course, March 2002, the
Netherlands. Maximum depth: 9m
Start of works: Spring 2001
End of construction: Summer 2001
3. Geotechnical conditions
In the Würenlingen area, significant deposits
of the Aare River dominate, which comprises
predominantly gravels and sands. The
Photo 2: groundwater table lies at a depth of ca. 9.5 m
Plaxis short course,
October 2001, Mexico below the surface prior to excavation. The
gravels and sands are known as good
foundation material, with some low apparent
cohesion, allowing for the temporary
construction of vertical cuttings of low height.
4. Construction procedure
Photo 3: Due to space restrictions, a sloped earthworks
Plaxis short course, profile is not possible. Therefore, it was
November 2001,
Vietnam. concluded to undertake the excavation using
14
PLAXIS
15
PLAXIS
7. Conclusions
The calculated deformation of the nailed wall
corresponds well with the measured values,
especially if the predicted deformations of
Fig. 4:
Axial Forces in Plaxis below excavation level are not
geotextile considered.
The soil parameters used correspond to
conservative average values, evaluated from a
large number of previous sites under similar
conditions. It is plausible that the deformation
parameters are underestimated.
16
PLAXIS
1. INTRODUCTION
A mixed development project that is located
at UEP Subang Jaya, Malaysia consists of three
condominium towers of 33 storeys and a single
20storey office tower. Due to the huge
demand for parking space, an approximately
three storey deep vehicular parking basement
was required. The deep excavation, through a Photo 1: Jackin Anchor Technique
17
PLAXIS
Photo 2:
The Retaining System:
Contiguous Bored Pile
Wall Supported by Jack
in Anchors that function
as Soil Nails
Photo 3:
Fig. 2b:
Hydraulic Jacking
The Retaining System
18
PLAXIS
19
PLAXIS
20
PLAXIS
9. REFERENCE
1. AlHussaini, M.M., Johnson, L., (1978),
Numerical Analysis of Reinforced Earth Wall,
Proc. Symp. On Earth Reinforcement ASCE
Annual Convention, p.p. 98126.
2. Brinkgreve, R.B.J., Vermeer, P.A., (1998),
7. SOILNAILSOILSTRUCTURE Plaxis Finite Element Code for Soil and Rock
INTERACTION Analyses Version 7.11,A.A.Balkema.
Lateral Bending Stiffness of Soil Nails 3. Cheang, W.L., Tan, S.A., Yong, K.Y., Gue, S.S,,
A flexible nail system with a bending stiffness Aw, H.C., Yu, H.T., Liew, Y.L., (1999), Soil Nailing
of 1/220 of the stiff nail system was numerically of a Deep Excavation in Soft Soil,
simulated. It was hypothesised that if bending Proceedings of the 5Th International
stiffness of the inclusions were insignificant in Symposium on Field Measurement in
the performance of the nail system, there Geomechanics, Singapore, Balkema.
would be no difference in the lateral 4. Cheang, W.L., Luo, S.Q., Tan, S.A., Yong, Y.K.,
displacement of the wall. However figure 8 (2000), Lateral Bending of Soil Nails in an
shows that bending stiffness is significant, at Excavation, International Conference on
least in a soil nail supported embedded wall. Geotechnical & Geological Engineering,
With a stiff nail system, the lateral displacement Australia. ( To be Published)
was significantly reduced. Figure 9 illustrates 5. Donovan, K., Pariseau, W.G., and Cepak,
that the influence increases as excavation M.,(1984), Finite Element Approach to Cable
proceeds further, this is due to the fact that Bolting in Steeply Dipping VCR Slopes,
larger movements are required to mobilised Geomechanics Application in Underground
lateral bending resistance of the nails. Hardrock Mining, pp.6590.New York: Society
of Mining Engineers.
8. CONCLUSION 6. Liew, S.S., Tan, Y.C., Chen, C.S., (2000), Design,
The soilnailsoilstructure interaction of a nailed Installation and Performance of JackInPipe
wall is complex in nature. Soil nails are subjected Anchorage System For Temporary Retaining
to tension, shear forces and bending moments. Structures, International Conference on
The outcome of this numerical investigation of Geotechnical & Geological Engineering,
a real soilnailed supported Contiguous Bored Austraila. ( To be Published)
Pile wall in soft residual soils is that nail bending 7. Nagao, A., Kitamura, T., (1988), Filed
stiffness has a significant effect as deformation Experiment on Reinforced Earth and its
progresses, at least in this hybrid support Evaluation Using FEM Analysis, International
21
PLAXIS
Users Forum
BEAM TO PILE PROPERTIES
IN PLAXIS
Properties for anchors are entered per anchor
so : EA = [kN] per anchor
Ls = [m] is spacing centre to centre
Some geometries
In the past bulletins, a few articles were related
to experience with the 3D Tunnel program.
Since it’s release last year, the 3D Tunnel
program has been used in practice for some
interesting projects. In the below graphs,
without further explanation you will find a brief
overview of possible projects and geometries.
The printed figures also indicate that the 3D
Tunnel program can deal with projects beyond
tunneling.
22
PLAXIS
PLAXIS
Fig 2. Partial
geometry for pile
raft foundation
Fig 3.
Displacement
contours for shield
tunnel project
Fig 4. Fig 5.
Partial geometry for anchored retaining wall. Deformed mesh for interacting tunnels.
23
PLAXIS
ACTIVITIES
PLAXIS 810 MAY, 2002 1922 JANUARY, 2003
International course for experienced Plaxis users Short course on Computational Geotechnics
(English) (English)
Boston, USA Noordwijkerhout, The Netherlands
24
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