A Coupled Unified Elastoplastic Model of Soil, Based on Bounding Surface Theory in Saturated and Unsaturated States

Document Type : Research Article


1 Rock Mechanics, Faculty of Engineering, Tarbiat Modarres university, Tehran, Iran

2 Rock Mechanics, Faculty of Engineering, Tarbiat modares university, Tehran, Iran

3 Civil and Environmental Engineering, Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Trondheim, Norway


Soils in nature can variably be in dry, saturated, or unsaturated conditions. In geotechnical projects, all three soil states must be considered, because soil states can be changed by environmental effects. The most elastoplastic models in soil mechanics were developed for saturated conditions. In this paper, a unified model, in a critical state framework is presented for describing the behavior of a large spectrum of soils under monotonic loading in drained and undrained conditions based on bounding surface theory and the nonassociated flow rule. To unify the simulation of both clayey and sandy soils, among phase transformation behavior, in this model, a modified general dilatancy rule is used. In the current model, an effective stress approach is used that can easily consider both saturated and unsaturated states through effective stress parameter dependent on suction value. The proposed model considered the coupling effect of mechanical and water retention behaviors using soil water characteristic curve dependent on void ratio. To improve model accuracy and convergence, an implicit numerical integration scheme is used to implement the model. Using the experimental data available in the literature, numerical model predictions were shown to be in good agreement with the experimental results. The results showed that the proposed model was able to predict the characteristic features of the behavior of a wide range of soils, including smooth transition behavior from elastic to a plastic state, stress softening and hardening, strain dilatancy, and also phase transformation behavior.  


Main Subjects

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