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PLAXIS Nº 12 - JUNE 2002

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 team-members have Schweiger who also is a regular contributor to
come to work for PLAXIS. The Plaxis-team 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 Plaxis-team
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
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 PLAX-flow applications; Among which are a contribution
The Netherlands program and the other 3D developments. With by Dr. Gysi, on a multi-anchored retaining wall,
E-mail: 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 Jack-In 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

Note on pore pressure 6 program. PLAXIS 2D.

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 pre-design 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 soil-parameters Dr. Ronald Brinkgreve, Plaxis bv

Agenda 24

Column Vermeer
One of the best-known 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 fine-grained 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 so-called
together with other stiffness related A-line in Casagrande’s plasticity chart (see
parameters such as the swelling index and Fig. 1). On using the Ip-wL correlation, the
the preconsolidation stress. In this column Terzaghi-Peck 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
10-log-paper 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 10-log 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

The approximation follows for e=1. In general

it is crude to assume e1, but it works within
the context of the correlations for soft soils.
In combination with the correlations for Cc it
leads to:

*  0.3lp and *  0.2(wL- 0.1) (3)

For a direct assessment of these correlations,

we will consider data by Engel (2001). This
database contains modified compression
indices for 21 different clays and silts, with a
liquid limit ranging from 0.2 up to 1.1 and a
plasticity index between 0.03 and 0.7, as can


PLAXIS be seen in Fig. 1. Engel’s data for * leads to

Figures 2 and 3. From Fig. 2 it can be
concluded that the correlation
Let us now consider the oedometer stiffness.
To this end the logarithmic compression law
 = * . ln’ can be written in the differential
form d/dln = * and one obtains
d’/ d = ’/ The tangent stiffness in
oedometer-compression, also refered to as
the constrained modulus, is thus proportional
to stress. Hence, Eoed ='/*, where Eoed is also
denoted as M or Es, depending on conventions
in different countries. This linear stress
dependency of soil stiffness is nice for fine-
grained NC-soils, but not for coarse-grained
ones. Therefore Ohde (1939) and Janbu (1963)
proposed a generalisation of the form:

Eoed = Eoed ('/Pref)m with Pref = 100kPa (4)

where m is an empirical exponent. This

equation reduces to the linear stress
Fig. 2: *  0.3lp has some shortcomings. A close dependency of soil stiffness for m=1.
Compression indices as
measured by Engel as a inspection shows that it is nice for clays with In the special case of m=1, one thus obtains
function of Ip plasticity indices above the A-line in the logarithmic compression law for fine-
Casagrande’s plasticity chart, but not for silts grained NC-soils. For coarse grained soils, much
with Ip below the A-line. To include such silts lower exponents of about m=0.5 are reported
one could better use the correlation, by Janbu (1963), Von Soos (2001) and other
*  0.2(wL- 0.1) as demonstrated in Fig. 3. On researchers.
plotting * as a function of the liquid limit, as
done in Fig. 3, it is immediately clear that there The above power law of Ohde, Janbu and Von
is an extremely nice correlation. Soos has been incorporated into the Hardening
It should also be recalled that the correlation Soil Model of the Plaxis code. Here it should be
*  0.2(wL- 0.1) is not only supported by noted that the above authors define
= v . P , where v is a so-called modulus
Fig. 3: Engel’s database, but that it is also fully in line Eoed ref
Compression indices with the work of Wroth & Wood as well as number. Instead of the dimensionless modulus
correlate nicely with the
liquid limit Terzaghi & Peck on correlations for Cc. number, the Hardening Soil Model involves
Eoed as an input parameter, i.e. the constrained
modulus at a reference stress of
’= pref = 100kPa. For the coming Version 8 of
the Plaxis code, we have also considered the
use of alternative input parameters. Instead of
Eoed , we have discussed the modulus number
1/* as well as the modified compression index
itself, as it yields

* Pref / Eoed (5)

In fact, this simple relationship between the

oedometer stiffness and the modified
compression index triggered our thinking on
alternative input parameters. Finally we decided


PLAXIS to go one step further and use the traditional

compression index Cc by implementing the
equations: New Developments
ref Pref (1+e) ln10
Eoed = = . P (6) In a few months, Plaxis version 8 will be
* Cc ref
released. This new 2D program is one of the
Within the new Version 8, users will have the results of a recently finished two-years
choice between the input of Eoed and the project on Plaxis developments. Another
alternative of Cc. Similarly, the so-called swelling results of this project is the 3D Tunnel
index Cs will be used as an alternative input program, which was released last year. In
parameter for the unloading-reloading stiffness this bulletin some new features of Plaxis
Eur. On inputting Cc one also has to prescribe version 8 will be mentioned. The new
a value for the void ratio. features are divided into three groups:
Here, a default value of e=1 will be introduced. Modeling features, calculation options and
This will make the Hardening Soil Model easier user friendliness.
to use in the field of soft soil engineering.

P.A. Vermeer, Stuttgart University


Engel, J., Procedures for the Selection of

Soil Parameters (in German), Habilitation study,
Department of Civil Engineering, Technical
University of Dresden, 2001, 188 p.

Janbu, N., "Soil Compressibility as Determined

by Oedometer and Triaxial Tests", Proceedings
3rd European Conference on Soil Mechanics
and Foundation Engineering, Vol. 1, MODELING FEATURES
Wiesbaden, 1963, pp. 19-25. Plaxis (2D) version 8 has several new features
for the modeling of tunnels and underground
Ohde, J. , "On the Stress Distribution in the structures. Some of these features were
Ground" (in German), Bauingenieur, Vol. 20, No. already implemented in the 3D tunnel
33/34, 1939, pp. 451-459. program, such as:

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 user-defined (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. 117-201 - 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
137-145. structure interaction:



Input of Skempton's B-factor 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,
- De-activation of interface elements to water), presented both as principal stresses,
temporarily avoid soil-structure 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 cross-section 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. meta-files. 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 - User-defined 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 user-defined 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 user-defined soil models may
phase in a separate calculations tab sheet. become available via the Internet. More
- Improved robustness of steady-state information on this feature will be placed on
groundwater flow calculations. Simplified our web site
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

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 elastic-perfectly 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.

Model Number E50ref Eurref Eoedref  c

ur pref m K0nc Rf
kN/m2 kN/m2 kN/m2 ° ° kN/m2 - kN/m2 - - -
HS_1 30 000 90 000 30 000 35 0 / 10 0.0 0.2 100 0.75 0.426 0.9
HS_2 50 000 150 000 50 000 35 0 0.0 0.2 100 0.75 0.426 0.9
HS_3 15 000 45 000 15 000 35 0 0.0 0.2 100 0.75 0.426 0.9
HS_4 30 000 90 000 40 000 35 0 0.0 0.2 100 0.75 0.426 0.9
HS_5 30 000 90 000 15 000 35 0 0.0 0.2 100 0.75 0.426 0.9
HS_6 50 000 150 000 30 000 35 0 0.0 0.2 100 0.75 0.426 0.9

Parameters for MC Model: E = 30 000 kN/m2;

= 0.2;  = 35°; = 0° and 10°


PLAXIS Comparison Mohr Coulomb –

Hardening Soil
In this comparison we consider the Mohr
undrained triaxial test is only obtained for the
Hardening Soil model because the Mohr
Coulomb model remains in the elastic range
Coulomb criterion and the parameter set 1 for and thus no change in effective mean normal
the Hardening Soil model for dilatant ( = 10°) stress takes place. The well known fact that
and non dilatant ( = 0°) behaviour. The p’-q- dilatant behaviour leads to an increase of
diagramm (Fig. 1) firstly shows that the strength in the undrained case is reproduced
effective stress path observed in a typical by both models in a similar way. It is important
Fig. 1 to point out that although the effective
Stress path in
strength parameters are the same for both
p’-q-space /
MC – HS model models the undrained shear strength is
different due to different effective stress paths
produced by both models, the Hardening Soil
q [kN/m2]

model giving an almost 15% lower value (see

also Fig. 2). The pore pressure vs vertical strain
diagram in Fig. 3 shows the expected increase
of excess pore water pressure followed by a
rapid decrease for the dilatant material
behaviour. It is worth noting that in the case
Fig. 2
of the Mohr Coulomb model there is a sharp
q- 1 - diagram /
MC – HS model transition when the excess pore water pressure
starts to decrease (at the point where the
failure envelope is reached) whereas for the
q [kN/m2]

Hardening Soil model this transition is smooth.

The pore pressure parameter A (Fig. 4) is 1/3
for the non dilatant Mohr Coulomb model (this
is the theoretical value for elastic behaviour)
and is independent of the loading stage and
thus the vertical strain. For the Hardening Soil
Fig. 3
model A is not a constant but increases with
u- 1 - diagram /
MC – HS model deviatoric loading to a final value of approx.
excess pore pressure [kN/m2]

0.44 for this particular parameter set. Of course

the parameter A tends to become negative for
dilatant behaviour.

Hardening Soil – Influence of E50ref and

The reference parameter set is HS_1 of Table
1. Based on this, the reference values of E50
Fig. 4
and Eoed have been varied (HS_2 to HS_6). Only
A- 1 - diagram /
MC – HS model non dilatant material behaviour is considered.
Fig. 5 shows effective stress paths in the p’-q-
space and it is interesting to see that for E50
parameter A

= Eoed the stress path is the same for all values

of E50 leading to the same undrained shear
strength although the vertical strain (and thus
the shear strain) at failure is different (Fig. 6).
If E50 is different from Eoed, different stress
paths and hence different undrained shear


PLAXIS strengths are predicted. The difference

between HS_4 and HS_5 is more than 30%
which is entirely related to the difference in
these parameters in boundary value problems.
In Fig. 6 deviatoric stress is plotted against
vertical strain and – unlike in a drained test
Eoed. This is perhaps not so suprising because where Eoed has only a minor influence on the
Eoed controls much of the volumetric q- 1-curve – both parameters have a strong
behaviour which in turn is very important for influence on the results. E50 governs, as
the undrained behaviour. However one has to expected, the behaviour at lower deviatoric
be aware of the consequences when using stresses but when failure is approached the
Fig. 5 influence of Eoed becomes more pronounced.
Stress path in
A very similar picture is obtained when excess
p’-q-space /
Hardening Soil pore pressures are plotted against vertical
strain (Fig. 7). In Fig. 8 the pore pressure
parameter A is plotted against vertical strain
q [kN/m2]

and it follows that for Eoed > E50 (parameter

set HS_4) the pore pressure parameter A is
approx. 0.34, i.e. close to the value for elastic
behaviour. If Eoed < E50 (parameter sets HS_5
and HS_6) the parameter A increases rapidly
with loading, finally reaching a value of
Fig. 6
approximately A = 0.6.
q- 1 - diagram /
Hardening Soil
It has been shown that the pore pressure
q [kN/m2]

parameters A and B obtained with PLAXIS from

undrained analysis of triaxial stress paths using
a Mohr Coulomb failure criterion are very close
to the theoretical values given by Skempton
(1954) for elastic material behaviour, i.e. B is
approx. 1.0 and A is 1/3. For more complex soil
Fig. 7
behaviour as introduced by the Hardening Soil
u- 1 - diagram /
Hardening Soil model the parameter A is no longer a constant
excess pore pressure [kN/m2]

value but changes with loading and is

dependent in particular on the value of Eoed in
relation to E50. For a given E50 the parameter
A at failure is higher for lower Eoed-values,
which in turn results in lower undrained shear
strength. Eoed < E50 is usually assumed for
normally consolidated clays experiencing high
volumetric strains under compression which
Fig. 8
corresponds to a higher value for A in the
A- 1 - diagram /
Hardening Soil undrained case. It is therefore justified to say
that PLAXIS predicts the correct trend, care
however has to be taken when choosing Eoed,
parameter A

because the influence of this parameter, which

may be difficult to determine accurately for in
situ conditions, is significant and may have a
strong influence on the results when solving
practical boundary value problems under
undrained conditions.


PLAXIS Reference
Skempton, A.W. (1954). The Pore-Pressure
Coefficients A and B. Geotechnique, 4, 143-
Fig. 1:
settlements - H.F. Schweiger
vertical displacements [mm]

analysis A
Graz University of Technology

Benchmarking I
Fig. 2: 1 - RESULTS
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

Fig. 3: obtain the same results and thus it would

Displacements of not be worthwhile to take the time for this
slected points -
exercise. However, I had distributed the
displacements [mm]

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
settlements - authors or programs are given, so I will not
vertical displacements [mm]

analysis B disclose which of the analyses have been

obtained with PLAXIS.

I hope, that the summary of the first

benchmark example provides sufficient
stimulation for taking part in the second call
for solutions for PLAXIS Benchmark No.2,

Fig. 5: published in this bulletin, so that we can go

Horizontal ahead with this section and as awareness for
horizontal 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.

Results Analysis A – elastic, no lining

Figure 1 shows calculated settlements of the


PLAXIS surface and it follows that even in the elastic

case some scatter in results is observed.
Some of the discrepancies are due to different
boundary conditions. ST5, for example,
restrained vertical and horizontal displacements
at the lateral boundary, others introduced an
Fig. 6:
Displacements of elastic spring or a stress boundary condition.
selcted points - The effect of the lateral boundary is not so
analysis B
displacements [mm]

obvious from Figure 1 but becomes more

pronounced when Figure 2, showing the
horizontal displacement at the surface, is
examined. Figure 3 summarizes calculated
values at specific points, namely at the surface,
the crown, the invert and the side wall (for
exact location see specification). A maximum
Fig. 7: difference of 10 mm (this is roughly 20%) in
the vertical displacement of point A (at the
vertical displacements [mm]

settlements -
analysis C surface) is observed and this is by no means
acceptable for an elastic analysis.

Results Analysis B – elastic-perfectly

plastic, no lining
Figures 4 and 5 show settlements and
horizontal displacements at the surface for the

Fig. 8: plastic solution with constant undrained shear

horizontal displacements [mm]

strength. In Figure 4 a similar scatter as in

displacements at
surface analysis C Figure 1 is observed with the exception of ST4,
ST9 and ST10 which show an even larger
deviation from the "mean" of all analyses
submitted. Again ST5 restrained vertical
displacements at the lateral boundary and thus
the settlement is zero here. ST9 used a von-
Mises and not a Tresca failure criterion which
Fig. 9: accounts for the difference. The strong
Displacements of
selcted points - influence of employing a von-Mises criterion
displacements [mm]

analysis C as follows from Figure 4 has been verified by

separate studies. It is emphasized therefore
that a careful choice of the failure criterion is
essential in a non-linear analysis even for a
simple problem as considered here. The
significant variation in predicted horizontal
displacements, mainly governed by the

Fig. 10: placement of the lateral boundary condition,

normal forces [kN]/contact pressure [kPa]

Normal forces and is evident from Figure 5. Figure 6 compares

contact pressure -
analysis C values for displacements at given points. Taking
the settlement at the surface above the tunnel
axis (point A) the minimum and maximum
value calculated is 76 mm and 159 mm
respectively. Thus differences are - as expected
- significantly larger than in the elastic case but
again not acceptable.


PLAXIS Results Analysis C – elastic-perfectly

plastic, lining and volume loss
Figure 7 plots surface settlements for the
distances from the symmetry axes and that
the specified volume loss is modelled in
different ways. Figure 8 shows the horizontal
elastic-perfectly plastic analysis with a specified displacements at the surface and a similar
volume loss of 2% and the wide scatter in picture as in the previous analyses can be
results is indeed not very encouraging. The found. Figure 9 depicts displacements at
significant effect of the vertically and selected points. The range of calculated values
horizontally restrained boundary condition for the surface settlement above the tunnel
used in ST5 is apparent. However in the other axis is between 1 and 25 mm and for the
solutions no obvious cause for the differences crown settlement between 17 and 45 mm
could be found except that the lateral respectively. The normal forces in the lining
boundary has been placed at different and the contact pressure between soil and
lining do not differ that much (variation is
Fig. 11: within 15 and 20% respectively), with the
exception of ST9 who calculated significantly
vertical displacements [mm]

analysis A / lateral lower values (Figure 10).
boundary at 100 m

Results with lateral boundary at distance

of 100 m from tunnel axis
Due to the obvious influence of the lateral
boundary conditions a second round of analysis
has been performed asking all authors to redo
Fig. 12:
Horizontal the analysis with a lateral boundary at 100 m
displacements at
horizontal displacements [mm]

distance from the line of symmetry with the

surface analysis A
/ lateral boundary horizontal displacements fixed. As follows from
at 100 m Figures 11 and 12 which depicts these results
for case A, all results are now within a small
range and thus it has been confirmed that the
discrepancies described from the previous
chapter are entirely caused by the boundary
condition. In addition to finite element results
Fig. 13: an analytical solution by Verruijt is included for
comparison. Vertical displacements are in very
vertical displacements [mm]

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

Fig. 14: is certainly due to the fact that the programs

horizontal displacements [mm]

Horizontal involved handle the specified volume loss in a

displacements at
surface analysis A different way.
/ undrained -
Comparison undrained – drained
In order to show that the influence of the
lateral boundary is especially important under
undrained conditions (constant volume) an


PLAXIS analysis has been performed for case A with

exactly the same parameters except for
Poisson's ratio, chosen now to correspond to
conditions can be much more severe in an
undrained analysis than in a drained one and
whenever possible a careful check should be
a drained situation, i.e. deformation under made whether or not the placement of the
constant volume is no longer enforced (for boundary conditions affects the results one is
simplicity the difference of Young's module interested in. One may argue that this is a trivial
between drained and undrained conditions has statement, practice however shows that due
been neglected). It follows from Figure 13 that to time constraints in projects it is not always
for the drained case the surface settlements feasible to check the influence of all the
are virtually independent of the distance of the modelling assumptions involved in a numerical
lateral boundary (results for mesh widths of analysis of a boundary value problem. It is one
50 m and 100 m are shown respectively). The of the goals of this section to point out
horizontal displacements (Figure 14) show potential pitfalls in certain types of problems
some differences of course but in the area of which may not be obvious even to experienced
interest they are negligible in the drained case. users and to promote the development of
guidelines for the use of numerical modelling
Summary in geotechnical practice.
The outcome of this benchmark example
clearly emphasizes the necessity of performing Helmut F. Schweiger, Graz University of
these types of exercises in order to improve Technology
the validity of numerical models. Given the
discrepancies in results obtained for this very
simple example much more scatter can be
expected for real boundary value problems. Benchmarking II
One of the lessons learned from this example
is that the influence of the boundary PLAXIS BENCHMARK NO. 2: EXCAVATION 1

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.

Table 1. EA EI W V The following computational steps have to be

Parameters for
sheet pile wall and strut kN/m kN2/m kN/m/m - performed in a plane strain analysis:
Sheet pile wall 2.52E6 8064 0.655 0.0 - initial phase (K0 = 0.426)
Strut 1.5E6 - activation of sheet pile, excavation step 1
to level – 2.0 m

dry wet E50ref Eurref Eoedref  c

ur pref m K0nc Rf Rinter T-Strength
kN/m3 kN/m3 kPa kPa kPa ° ° kPa - kPa - - - - kPa
19.0 20.0 45 000 180 000 45 000 35 5 1.0 0.2 100 0.55 0.426 0.9 0.7 0.0

Table 2. Parameters for HS-model



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
- phi-c-reduction

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 phi-c- 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 ASCII-format respectively. at Delft University of Technology.
Alternatively, the entire PLAXIS-project 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.

Institute for Soil Mechanics and Foundation Regular courses:

Engineering Traditionally, we start the year with the standard
Computational Geotechnics Group International course “Computational
Graz University of Technology Geotechnics” that takes place during the 3rd
Rechbauerstr. 12, A-8010 Graz week of January in the Netherlands. The
Tel.: +43 (0)316 – 873-6234 Experienced users course in the Netherlands
Fax: +43 (0)316 – 873-6232 is traditionally organised during the 4th week
E-mail: of March each year. Besides these standard courses in the Netherlands, some other regular
courses are held in Germany (March), England
(April), France (Autumn), Singapore (Autumn),
Egypt, and the USA. For the USA the course
Recent Activities schedule is a bit different, as we plan to have
an Experienced users course per two years and
NEW DIRECTOR OF PLAXIS B.V. two standard courses in the intermediate
periods. In May, 2002, we had the Experienced
We are pleased to introduce the new users course in Boston, which was organised
director of PLAXIS BV, Dr. Klaas Jan Bakker. in cooperation with the Massachusetts Institute
Dr. Bakker who started the first of February of Technology (MIT). For January 2003, a
takes over the chair of Mr. Hutteman, who standard course is scheduled in Berkeley in


PLAXIS cooperation with the University of California.

For August, 2003, another standard course is
organised in Boulder in cooperation with the
last page of this bulletin, you can see the
agenda, which lists all scheduled courses and
some other events. Our web-site
University of Colorado. It is our intention to on the other hand will always give you the
repeat this scheme of courses for the Western most up-to-date information.
hemisphere. For the Asian region, we have
planned a similar schedule that also includes
an experienced users course once every two PLAXIS Practice I
1. Introduction
Other courses:
Besides the above regular courses, other In Würenlingen (Switzerland), for the
courses are organised in different parts of the temporary storage of nuclear waste, an
world. In the past year, courses were held in extension of the existing depository was
Mexico, Vietnam, Turkey, Malaysia, etc. On the required. To facilitate this, a 7.5 - 9.0 m deep
excavation was necessary. This bordered
immediately adjacent pre-existing
structures. Furthermore, along one of it‘s
sides there is a route used for the
transportation of nuclear waste.

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

Model Behavior unsat sat E50ref Eoedref m Eurref

ur c  Rinter
- kN/m3 kN/m3 kPa kPa - KPa - kPa ° ° -
HS Drained 22.0 22.0 33 000 37 500 0.5 99 000 0.25 1.0 32 6 1.0

Table 1. Soil parameters


PLAXIS a soil nailing option. Correspondingly, the

excavation had to proceed in benched stages.
Each bench had a height of 1.30 m and a width
The calculations were performed with the
following parameters:
 Hardening soil model
of 4.5 to 6.0 m. The free face was immediately  Plane strain with 6 node elements
covered with an 18 cm thick layer of shotcrete  649 elements
and tied back with untensioned soil nails.  Due to the simple geology, only one soil layer
The bond strength of the soil nails was was used (see table 1)
established by pullout tests. Usually the soil  Due to good bonding between soil and
nails are cemented along their full length. For shotcrete wall no reduction in interface
the pullout tests, however, the bond length friction was made.
was reduced to between 3.0 and 4.0 m with a  The calculations were performed without
total length of 7.0 m. The individual nails have groundwater.
a cross-sectional area of 25 mm and yield  Shotcrete wall of 18 cm thickness with
strength of 246 kN. During the pullout tests, reinforced wire mesh, modeled as beam
it was possible to tension the nails to yield point elements. EA = 5.4 x 106 kN/m, EI =
without any indication of creep or failure. 1.458 x 104 kNm2/m and
= 0.2
In total five benches were necessary to reach  Soil nails are modeled as geotextile elements.
excavation depth. The wall itself is vertical, with EA = 6.87 x 104 kN/m and
= 0.
nail spacing of 1.5 m and 1.3 m, horizontal and  Results
vertical respectively. The nails were tightened Final excavation stage
three days after installation with a torque key, Maximum deformation of shotcrete wall;
to secure a fast seat to the shotcrete. A pre- 17 mm (see fig. 2a and fig. 3).
tensioning with fully cemented nails is not Maximum horizontal deformation of
sensible (see fig. 1). shotcrete wall; 14 mm (see fig. 2d).
Maximum force in geotextile element; 49
Fig. 1:
Typical section kN/m, or 73.5 kN per nail (see fig. 4).
with horizontal Maximum bending moment in shotcrete
wall; 11.5 kNm/m (see fig. 2b).
Maximum axial force in shotcrete wall; -67
kN/m (see fig. 2c).
It must be noted, that the tensile forces in the
geotextile elements at the final excavation
stage did not calculate to zero at the toe of
the nail, as should be in reality. This could be
due to a too wide FE-net around the geotextile
elements, additionally due to the use of only
5. Calculations 6-nodes instead of the more precise 15-node
The initial calculations were performed with element.
the usual statical programs based on beam
theory and limiting equilibrium loading. Due 6. Measurement on site
to the particular safety requirements in In total, deformation of the excavation was
connection with nuclear transport additional taken at five stations. Prior to excavation
deformation predictions were made. These clinometers were placed ca. 1.0 m behind the
calculations were carried out with Plaxis version proposed shotcrete wall, with a depth of 7 m
7. Geotextile elements were used to model the below excavation level. Figure 7 shows the
nails. Due to the good bonding of the soil nails measured horizontal deformations of two
proven by the pullout attempts, no reduction cross-sections with equal depths (7.2 and 9.0
was made for loading transfer along the mm). Figure 6 contains the calculated
geotextile elements. horizontal deformations along a vertical line


PLAXIS 1m behind the shotcrete wall (14.9 mm). A

comparison shows that the calculated
deformations are greater than the measured.
Conspicuous is, that below the excavation base
there is practically no movement measurable.
Plaxis, however, has predicted some 4 mm
deformation. This may be due to an initial
Fig. 2:
Output in offset or due to stiffer behavior at the bottom
shotcrete wall of the excavation.
The maximum measured horizontal
deformation was between 7.2 and 9.0 mm at
the wall head. Plaxis calculated 14.9 mm
horizontal deformation at this point.
If only relative measurements are considered,
assuming that no movement takes place at the
wall toe, then the prediction from Plaxis lays
Fig. 3: very close to the actual maximum measured.
Deformation of
geotextile The forms of the measured and calculated
deformation curves correspondwell well with
each other.

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.

The Plaxis calculation illustrates

Fig. 5: comprehensively, that the soil nailing system
displacements (soil-nail-wall) works as an interactive system. It
shows further, that the maximum nail force
does not necessarily act at the nail head, but
according to the distribution of soil movements
may also lie far behind the head of the nail. This
means that displacements are necessarily taking
place before the nail force is activated.
On the one hand, it shows that the shotcrete

Fig. 6: wall in vertical alignment is stressed by bending

Calculated and compression, and that the wall’s foot
transmits compressive stresses to the soil. On
the other hand, the shotcrete wall in horizontal
alignment is only loaded by bending, whereby
in the absence of lateral restrictions of
deformation there could also be tension. Finally
it is clear to see, that nail head support and
pullout failure should be considered (see fig. 4).


PLAXIS Thanks to prior deformation calculation with

Plaxis and measurement control by clinometer
installation during the construction stage, the
filled layer of very loose silty sand and very soft
peaty clay varies from 11m to 13m. Due to the
presence of very soft soil condition and the
safety of the works in relation to nuclear fast track requirement of the project,
transportation could be assessed at all times. Contiguous Bored Pile (CBP) walls supported
by soil nails were used to support the
H.J. Gysi, G.Morri, Gysi Leoni Mader AG, excavation process. This hybrid technique was
Zürich - Switzerland envisaged and implemented due to its speed
in construction and the ability of the Jack-in
 Calculation procedure Anchors1) in supporting excavations in
Phase 1: Initial stresses, using Mweight = 1. collapsible soils, high water table and in soft
Phase 2: Live load (5 kN/m2 and 10 kN/m2) soils conditions (Cheang et al., 1999 & 2000,
Phase 3: Excavation to top level of Liew et al, 2000). The use of soil nailing in
wall (-0.80 m). excavations and slope stabilisation has gained
Phase 4: First excavation stage, wide acceptance in Southeast Asia, specifically
including shotcrete of wall in Malaysia and Singapore due to its
and installation of first row effectiveness and huge economic savings.
of soil nails (-2.10 m). Adopting the observational method, numerical
Phase 5: Second excavation stage with analyses using ‘PLAXIS version 7.11’ a finite
shotcrete wall (-3.40 m). element code were conducted to study the
Phase 6: Installation of second row soil-structure interaction of this relatively new
of soil nails. retaining system. Numerical predictions were
Phase 7: Third excavation stage compared with instrumented field readings and
with shotcrete wall (-4.70 m). deformation parameters were back analysed
Phase 8: Installation of third row of soil nails. and were used in subsequent prediction of wall
Phase 9: Fourth excavation stage movements in the following excavation stages.
with shotcrete wall (-6.00 m).
Phase 10: Installation of fourth row 2. SUBSURFACE GEOLOGY
of soil nails. The general subsurface soil profile of the site,
Phase 11: Fifth excavation stage shown in Table 1 consists in the order of
with shotcrete wall (-7.30 m). succession of loose clayey SILT, loose to
Phase 12: Installation of fifth row of soil nails. medium dense Sand followed by firm to hard
clayey SILT. The residual soils (Figure 1) are inter-
layered by 9m thick soft dark peaty CLAY. For
analysis purposes the layers were simplified
PLAXIS Practice II 1) Jack-in Anchor Technique™ is a patented
product by Specialist Grouting Engineers

A mixed development project that is located
at UEP Subang Jaya, Malaysia consists of three
condominium towers of 33 storeys and a single
20-storey 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: Jack-in Anchor Technique


PLAXIS into representative granular non-cohesive and

cohesive material, such as:

Photo 2:
The Retaining System:
Contiguous Bored Pile
Wall Supported by Jack-
in Anchors that function
as Soil Nails


LAYER 1 0 to 9 Clayey SILT <12 Typical Subsurface Profile
LAYER 2 9 to 18 Soft Dark Silty CLAY 0
LAYER 3 18 to 27 Medium Dense SAND >18
LAYER 4 27 to 35 Dense SILT >50

Table 1. Soil Layers


In view of the close proximity of commercial
buildings to the deep excavation, a very stiff
retaining system is required to ensure minimal
ground movements the retained side of the
excavation. Contiguous Bored Pile that acts as
an earth retaining wall during the excavation
works were installed along the perimeter of
the excavation and supported by jack-in Fig. 2a:
anchors. The retaining wall system consist of The Retaining System
closely spaced 1000mm diameter contiguous
bored piles supported by hollow pipes which
functions as soil nails are installed by hydraulic
jacking using the Jacked-in Soil Anchor
Technology™ as shown in photo 3. Figure 2
illustrates the soil nail supported bored pile wall

Photo 3:
Fig. 2b:
Hydraulic Jacking
The Retaining System


PLAXIS This method has proven to be an efficient and

effective technique for excavation support,
where conventional soil nails and ground
conditions and the close proximity of the
commercial buildings to the deep excavation,
a performance monitoring program was
anchors have little success in such difficult soft provided. Firstly, as a safety control. Second,
soil conditions. Such conditions are sandy to refine the numerical analysis using field
collapsible soil, high water table and in very measurements obtained at the early stages of
soft clayey soils where there is a lack of short- construction and third, to provide an insight
term pullout resistance. into the possible working mechanisms of the
Relatively, larger movements are required to The geotechnical instrumentation program
mobilise the tensile and passive resistance of consists of 18 vertical inclinometer tubes
the jacked-in pipes when compared to ground located strategically along the perimeter
anchors. However it was anticipated that the within the Contiguous Bored Pile wall and 30
ground settlement at the retained side and optical survey makers (surface settlement
Fig. 4: maximum lateral displacement of the wall points) near the vicinity of the commercial
Instruments using this system would still be within the buildings. The locations of these instruments
are detailed in Fig. 4 for the inclinometers.
Fig. 5 illustrates the restrained trend of
horizontal displacement of the wall as
measured through inclinometers installed at
the site


Equivalence relationships have to be developed
between the 3D structure and 2D numerical
required tolerance after engineering model. Non 2-D member such as soil nails must
assessment. be represented with ‘equivalent’ properties that
reflect the spacing between such elements.
4. GEOTECHNICAL INSTRUMENTATION Donovan et al. (1984) suggested that properties
Fig. 5: In view of this relatively new excavation of the discrete elements could be distributed
Measures deflection
profile support technique used for in-situ soft soil over the distance between the elements in a


PLAXIS uniformly spaced pattern by linear scaling.

Unterreiner et al. (1997) adopted an approach
similar to Al-Hussaini and Johnson (1978) where
an equivalent plate model replaces the discrete
soil-nail elements by a plate extended to full
width and breadth of the retaining wall. Nagao
and Kitamura (1988) converted the properties
of the 3-D discrete elements into an equivalent
composite plate model by taking into account Fig 6:
2-Dimensional finite element mode
the properties of the adjacent soil. The two-
dimensional finite element analysis performed
hereafter uses the ‘composite plate model’

Finite Element Analysis

The finite element analyses were performed
using ‘PLAXIS’ (Brinkgreve and Vermeer, 1998).
The Contiguous Bored Pile wall and steel tubes
were modelled using a linear-elastic Mindlin
plate model (Figure 6). The nails were ‘pinned’
to the CBP wall. The soil-nail soil interface was
modelled using the elastic-perfectly-plastic
model where the Coulomb criterion
distinguishes between the small displacement
elastic behaviour and ‘slipping’ plastic behaviour. Figure 7:
The surrounding soils were modelled using the Lateral Deflection of Soil Nailed
Contiguous Bored Pile Wall
Mohr-Coulomb soil model. Table 2 and 3 shows
the properties used for the analyses.


Measured And Predicted Lateral Deflection
Figure 7 compares the in-situ, predicted and
back analysed lateral deflection of the soil nail
supported wall. The measured lateral deflection

Table 2: Soil Properties

Layer 1 Layer 2 Layer 3 Layer 4
E (kN/m2) 34000 9000 30000 200000
soil (kN/m3) 19 20 20 19

0.25 0.25 0.25 0.25

 25 0 35 30 Figure 8:
C 2 12 2 2 Lateral Deflection of ‘Stiff’ and ‘Flexible’
Soil Nail System
0 0 0 0
is showing a trend of restrained cantilever and
Table 3: Nail and Contiguous Bored Pile Wall Properties the jack-in anchors are restraining the
ENAIL 2.90E+06 kN/m2 horizontal displacement of the wall. Initial finite
ECONC. 2.00E+07 kN/m2 element prediction (Prediction No.1) based on
soil strengths correlated from laboratory


PLAXIS results. Excavation involves mainly the

unloading of adjacent soil, the ground stiffness
is dependent on stress level and wall
system. Soil-nail lateral resistance is dependent
not only on the relative stiffness and yield
strengths of the soil and nail, but also on the
movements. These aspects were taken into local lateral displacement across the shear zone.
account in prediction no.2, the trend is similar Due to the hybrid nature of this system, the
and a better prediction was obtained. results indicated that the relative stiffness of
Subsequent finite element runs were made the nail and wall too governs the development
Figure 9: Influence of
Nail Stiffness base on the improved parameters. of bending i.e., lateral resistance of the soil nail.
In soft soils, numerical results indicated greater
bending moments in the nails due to larger wall
deflection. The implication of this study is
additional analysis of different working
mechanisms in various soil types should be

1. Al-Hussaini, M.M., Johnson, L., (1978),
Numerical Analysis of Reinforced Earth Wall,
Proc. Symp. On Earth Reinforcement ASCE
Annual Convention, p.p. 98-126.
2. Brinkgreve, R.B.J., Vermeer, P.A., (1998),
7. SOIL-NAIL-SOIL-STRUCTURE 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.65-90.New York: Society
of Mining Engineers.
8. CONCLUSION 6. Liew, S.S., Tan, Y.C., Chen, C.S., (2000), Design,
The soil-nail-soil-structure interaction of a nailed Installation and Performance of Jack-In-Pipe
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 soil-nailed 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


PLAXIS Symposium on Theory and Practice of Earth

Reinforcement, Japan, pp.329-334.
8. Unterreiner, P., Benhamida, B., Schlosser, F.,
Modelling a row of piles or a row of grout
bodies in the z-direction can be done by
dividing the EAreal and ELreal by
(1997), Finite Element Modelling Of The the centre-to-centre distance Ls.
Construction Of A Full-Scale Experimental Soil-
Nailed Wall. French National Research Project For a beam:
CLOUTERRE, Ground Improvement, p.p. 1-8. EAreal=Ereal*dreal*breal [kN]
EAplaxis= EAreal/Ls [kN/m]
W.L.Cheang, Research Scholar,
E-mail:, For a grout body:
EAreal=Ereal*dreal*breal [kN]
S.A.Tan, Associate Professor, EAplaxis= EAreal/Ls [kN/m]

K.Y.Yong, Professor, Department of Civil

Engineering, National University of

Users Forum

Properties for anchors are entered per anchor
so : EA = [kN] per anchor
Ls = [m] is spacing centre to centre

Beams and geotextiles are continuous in the

z-direction (perpendicular to the screen).
Therefore, a beam /geotextile will be a
Fig 1. continuous plate/textile in the z-direction. The
Partial geometry properties are entered per meter
for shieldtunnel
project in the z-direction EA = [kN/m], EL = [kN/m2/m]

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


Fig 2. Partial
geometry for pile-
raft foundation

Fig 3.
contours for shield
tunnel project

Fig 4. Fig 5.
Partial geometry for anchored retaining wall. Deformed mesh for interacting tunnels.

PLAXIS 8-10 MAY, 2002 19-22 JANUARY, 2003
International course for experienced Plaxis users Short course on Computational Geotechnics
(English) (English)
Boston, USA Noordwijkerhout, The Netherlands

16 MAY, 2002 10-12 MARCH, 2003

2nd French Plaxis Users meeting (French) Short course on Computational Geotechnics
Paris, France (German)
Stuttgart, Germany
14-18 OCTOBER, 2002
Short course on Computational Geotechnics 23-26 MARCH, 2003
(Arabic, English) International course for experienced Plaxis users
Cairo, Egypt (English)
Noordwijkerhout, The Netherlands
25-26 OCTOBER, 2002
Short course on Computational Geotechnics 8-10 APRIL, 2003
(Portuguese, English) Short course on Computational Geotechnics
Sao Paulo, Brazil (English)
Manchester, England
7-8 NOVEMBER, 2002
11th European Plaxis Users meeting (English) 28-30 APRIL, 2003
Karlsruhe, Germany Short course on Computational Geotechnics
18-20 NOVEMBER, 2002 Napoli, Italy
Short course on Computational Geotechnics
(English) 31 JULY–2 AUGUST, 2003
Trondheim, Norway Experienced Plaxis users course (English)
27-29 NOVEMBER, 2002
Short course on Computational Geotechnics
‘Pratique des éléments finis en Géotechnique’
Paris, France
For more information on these activities
6-9 JANUARY, 2003 please contact:
Short course on Computational Geotechnics &
dynamics (English) PLAXIS bv
Berkeley, USA P.O. Box 572
The Netherlands
Tel: +31 15 26 00 450
Fax: +31 15 26 00 451