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Numerical simulation of EPS geofoam behaviour in triaxial tests

Sanka Dilshan Ekanayake (School of Computing, Engineering and Mathematics, University of Western Sydney, Penrith, Australia.)
D.S. Liyanapathirana (School of Computing, Engineering and Mathematics, University of Western Sydney, Penrith, Australia.)
Chin Jian Leo (School of Computing, Engineering and Mathematics, University of Western Sydney, Penrith, Australia.)

Engineering Computations

ISSN: 0264-4401

Article publication date: 6 July 2015

Abstract

Purpose

EPS geofoam has been widely used in embankment construction, slope stabilisation, retaining walls, bridge approaches and abutments. Nevertheless, the potential of EPS geofoam as an engineering material in geotechnical applications has not been fully realised yet. The purpose of this paper is to present the finite element formulation of a constitutive model based on the hardening plasticity, which has the ability to simulate short-term behaviour of EPS geofoam, to predict the mechanical behaviour of EPS geofoam and it is implemented in the finite element programme ABAQUS.

Design/methodology/approach

Finite element formulation is presented based on the explicit integration scheme.

Findings

The finite element formulation is verified using triaxial test data found in the literature (Wong and Leo, 2006 and Chun et al., 2004) for two varieties of EPS geofoam. Performance of the constitute model is compared with four other models found in the literature and results confirm that the constitutive model used in this study has the ability to simulate the short-term EPS geofoam behaviour with sufficient accuracy.

Research limitations/implications

This research is focused only on the short-term behaviour of EPS geofoam. Experimental studies will be carried out in future to incorporate effects of temperature and creep on the material behaviour.

Practical implications

This formulation will be applicable to finite element analysis of boundary value problems involving EPS geofoam (e.g. application of EPS geofoam in ground vibration isolation, retaining structures as compressible inclusions and stabilisation of slopes).

Originality/value

Finite element analysis of EPS geofoam applications are available in the literature using elastic perfectly plastic constitutive models. However, this is the first paper presenting a finite element application utilising a constitutive model specifically developed for EPS geofoam.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

The authors would like to acknowledge the financial assistance provided by the Australian Research Council for this research under Discovery grant DP1094309.

Citation

Ekanayake, S.D., Liyanapathirana, D.S. and Leo, C.J. (2015), "Numerical simulation of EPS geofoam behaviour in triaxial tests", Engineering Computations, Vol. 32 No. 5, pp. 1372-1390. https://doi.org/10.1108/EC-12-2013-0300

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2015, Emerald Group Publishing Limited