Finite-Element Method for Problems in Soil Mechanics

by Chiyyarath V. Girijavallabhan,
Lymon C. Reese,

Serial Information: Journal of the Soil Mechanics and Foundations Division, 1968, Vol. 94, Issue 2, Pg. 473-496

Document Type: Journal Paper


Finite-element methods can be used to solve problems of continuum mechanics where the material has linear or nonlinear properties. In this work the finite-element method is applied to some problems in soil mechanics, defined either as plane-strain or axially symmetric. Problems in linear media, in which the material is homogeneous and isotropic, have been solved using the above method and results agreed well with closed-form solutions. The finite-element method was then extended to nonlinear problems using pseudoelastic constants. These constants were selected such that the stress in the finite element for a given strain was the same as the stress corresponding to some strain in the continuum. The nonlinear stress-strain relationship in the elements was satisfied by an iterative procedure. Some nonlinear problems in plane-strain and axially symmetric cases were solved and compared with experimental results. Remarkable agreement was observed between the computer solution and the experimental results. Thus the finite element method was found to be a powerful tool for solving problems which involve either linear or nonlinear media.

Subject Headings: Nonlinear analysis | Linear functions | Stress strain relations | Finite element method | Soil mechanics | Continuum mechanics | Plane strain | Symmetry

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