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Modelling the Cone Penetration Test in sand using Cavity Expansion and Arbitrary Lagrangian Eulerian Finite Element Methods

journal contribution
posted on 2023-05-19, 22:58 authored by Ali TolooiyanAli Tolooiyan, Gavin, K
The paper considers two techniques to model the Cone Penetration Test (CPT) end resistance, qc in a dense sand deposit using commercial finite element programmes. In the first approach, Plaxis was used to perform spherical cavity expansion analyses at multiple depths. Two soil models, namely; the Mohr-Coulomb (MC) and Hardening Soil (HS) models were utilized. When calibrated using simple laboratory element tests, the HS model was found to provide good estimates of qc. However, at shallow depths, where the over-consolidation ratio of the sand was highest, the relatively large horizontal stresses developed prevented the full development of the failure zone resulting in under-estimation of the qc value. The second approach involved direct simulation of cone penetration using a large-strain analysis implemented in Abaqus/Explicit. The Arbitrary Lagrangian Eulerian (ALE) technique was used to prevent excessive mesh deformation. Although the Druker-Prager soil model used was not as sophisticated as the HS model, excellent agreement was achieved between the predicted and measured qc profiles.


Publication title

Computers and Geotechnics










School of Engineering


Elsevier Sci Ltd

Place of publication

The Boulevard, Langford Lane, Kidlington, Oxford, England, Oxon, Ox5 1Gb

Rights statement

Copyright 2011 Elsevier Ltd.

Repository Status

  • Restricted

Socio-economic Objectives

Expanding knowledge in engineering