Numerical modelling of desiccation cracking of clayey soil using a cohesive fracture method

Abstract : This paper presents a numerical study on the desiccation cracking process of clayey soil. The initiation and propagation of cracks were investigated using finite element code, including the damage-elastic cohesive fracture law to describe the behaviour of cracks. The coupling between the hydraulic behaviour (moisture transfer in the soil matrix and in the cracks) and the mechanical behaviour (volume change of the soil matrix and development of cracks) were also considered. The results of a laboratory experiment performed on clay soil, taken from a literature review, were used to evaluate the numerical modelling. The results show that the code can reproduce the main trends observed in the experiment (e.g., shrinkage related to drying, crack development). In addition, the numerical simulation enables the identification of other phenomena, such as the evolution of suction and stress related to drying and the development of a single crack. These phenomena are difficult to observe experimentally.
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Computers and Geotechnics, Elsevier, 2017, 85, pp.15-27. 〈10.1016/j.compgeo.2016.12.010〉
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Thi Dong Vo, Amade Pouya, Sahar Hemmati, Anh Minh Tang. Numerical modelling of desiccation cracking of clayey soil using a cohesive fracture method. Computers and Geotechnics, Elsevier, 2017, 85, pp.15-27. 〈10.1016/j.compgeo.2016.12.010〉. 〈hal-01515964〉

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