Computer Modeling of Clay Structure and Mechanics

by Ronald F. Scott, (M.ASCE), Prof. of Civ. Engrg.; Div. of Engrg. and Applied Science, California Inst. of Tech., Pasadena, Calif.,
Michael J.K. Craig, Research Engr.; Union Oil Company of California, Brea, Calif.; formerly, Research Engr., California Inst. of Tech., Pasadena, Calif.,

Serial Information: Journal of the Geotechnical Engineering Division, 1980, Vol. 106, Issue 1, Pg. 17-33

Document Type: Journal Paper


It is impossible to carry out an ideal test on clay in which the boundary conditions are uniformly applied and in which the variables in the clay structure, particle size, orientation, bonding conditions, etc., can be varied at will. To examine the effects of such parameters on the clay behavior, a clay structure has been assembled and analyzed by computer. The soil was formed by a simulated sedimentation process in which particle size distribution, and bonding were varied. Stick beam-column elements were used to represent the soil. The resulting two-dimensional, essentially random structure was subjected to boundary conditions representative of equivalent one-dimensional and axial unconfined compression tests. With elastic and elastic-plastic representations of the particle contacts, the global response to loading, unloading, and cyclic stress application is analyzed and reviewed with respect to real clay behavior.

Subject Headings: Soil analysis | Computer models | Particle size distribution | Structural behavior | Elastic analysis | Structural models | Clays | Soil structures

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