Numerical Modeling of Geotextile-Reinforced Embankments over Deep Cement Mixed Columns Incorporating Strain-Softening Behavior of Columns

Geotextile-reinforced embankments over deep cement mixed (DCM) columns are widely used for the construction of highway embankments over soft clay with low shear strength and high compressibility. Numerical modeling based on the finite element method (FEM) is widely used to investigate the behavior of these embankments during construction and serviceability, incorporating consolidation of the foundation soil over time. However, not much attention has been paid to the strain-softening behavior of DCM columns beyond yield, which is essential in ultimate limit-state computations to determine the stability of embankments during the failure of columns. This paper presents a constitutive model, which is an extension of the Mohr-Coulomb model, for the simulations of strain-softening behavior of cement admixed clays. The model is validated using triaxial test data found in the literature for cement admixed Singapore and Hong Kong marine clays and Ariake clay. A two-dimensional (2D) coupled mechanical and hydraulic numerical implementation of a geotextile-reinforced DCM column-supported (GRCS) embankment constructed over a very soft soil in Finland is carried out incorporating strain-softening behavior of DCM columns. Even though the isolated columns and overlapped column walls used in this embankment do not yield significantly under the service loads, the model simulations show good agreement with field data, confirming the capability of the 2D plane strain finite-element model in predicting the GRCS embankment behavior. Finally, the finite-element model with strain-softening DCM columns is used to investigate the progressive failure of a typical hypothetical GRCS embankment with isolated columns in a square pattern. Results clearly illustrate the bending failure mode caused by progressive softening of the DCM columns, including the plastic hinge development within the columns.


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  • Accession Number: 01522587
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS, ASCE
  • Created Date: Apr 14 2014 3:01PM