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Article
Publication date: 6 July 2015

Sanka Dilshan Ekanayake, D.S. Liyanapathirana and Chin Jian Leo

EPS geofoam has been widely used in embankment construction, slope stabilisation, retaining walls, bridge approaches and abutments. Nevertheless, the potential of EPS

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.

Details

Engineering Computations, vol. 32 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0264-4401

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 1 December 2005

Andrew J. Graettinger, Philip W. Johnson, Pramodh Sunkari, Matthew C. Duke and Jonathan Effinger

Geotechnical fills are used for building roadway embankments, filling in behind retaining walls, and as backfill above buried pipelines. Lightweight fill reduces the load…

Abstract

Purpose

Geotechnical fills are used for building roadway embankments, filling in behind retaining walls, and as backfill above buried pipelines. Lightweight fill reduces the load so structures can be built more economically. A new lightweight geo‐material made from recycled plastic bottles glued together in their original post‐consumer form was developed. The purpose of this work is to explore the use of this new material as a lightweight geotechnical fill.

Design/methodology/approach

Through a preliminary laboratory and field study, aspects of the physical and mechanical characteristics of the recycled plastic bottle blocks were investigated. This new material is currently undergoing field trials behind a retaining wall on a bicycle path.

Findings

It was found that the average density of this new material is very low, at 32.63 kg/m3 (2.04 lb/ft3), with 59.5 percent of a block made up of recycled plastic bottles. The plastic bottle waste stream obtained from a recycling plant is gap‐graded having approximately 25 percent of the bottle volume at the 2 l bottle size with the remaining 75 percent at the 500 ml bottle size. Unconfined compression tests on small ten‐bottle samples produced strengths of 60 kN/m2 (1,250 lb/ft2).

Practical implications

Testing indicates that this material may be useful as a lightweight geotechnical fill over soft soils or behind retaining walls; as an energy‐absorbing crash barrier for highway, race track, or airport safety; as ground and building insulation for Arctic construction; as floating barriers or platforms for offshore work; or for acoustic or vibration dampening for manufacturing processes.

Originality/value

This work explores the use of large volumes of recycled plastic bottles as an environmentally friendly geotechnical engineering material. Engineering parameters for this new material are presented as well as a discussion of an ongoing field study. The information presented here is the first step in understanding this new material with respect to civil engineering applications.

Details

Management of Environmental Quality: An International Journal, vol. 16 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1477-7835

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 9 October 2019

Hui Chen and Donghai Liu

The purpose of this study is to develop a stochastic finite element method (FEM) to solve the calculation precision deficiency caused by spatial variability of dam…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study is to develop a stochastic finite element method (FEM) to solve the calculation precision deficiency caused by spatial variability of dam compaction quality.

Design/methodology/approach

The Choleski decomposition method was applied to generate constraint random field of porosity. Large-scale laboratory triaxial tests were conducted to determine the quantitative relationship between the dam compaction quality and Duncan–Chang constitutive model parameters. Based on this developed relationship, the constraint random fields of the mechanical parameters were generated. The stochastic FEM could be conducted.

Findings

When the fully random field was simulated without the restriction effect of experimental data on test pits, the spatial variabilities of both displacement and stress results were all overestimated; however, when the stochastic FEM was performed disregarding the correlation between mechanical parameters, the variabilities of vertical displacement and stress results were underestimated and variation pattern for horizontal displacement also changed. In addition, the method could produce results that are closer to the actual situation.

Practical implications

Although only concrete-faced rockfill dam was tested in the numerical examples, the proposed method is applicable for arbitrary types of rockfill dams.

Originality/value

The value of this study is that the proposed method allowed for the spatial variability of constitutive model parameters and that the applicability was confirmed by the actual project.

Details

Engineering Computations, vol. 36 no. 9
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0264-4401

Keywords

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