Finite Element Modeling of Swelling Soil Pressures Using Joint/Interface Elements

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Abstract

There could be some discontinuities in a soil media such as layers, earth structures, cracks, and fissures so that estimation of stresses and deformations in these types of soil masses are somewhat different from continuous masses. The discontinuities in a soil mass could be considered as a special link between two blocks. Transmitted swelling pressures affected by the soil properties of the backfill especially at the interface between the backfill and retaining wall. In order to estimate the transmitted swelling pressure distribution behind a retaining wall, using with interface element, a new finite element model and a code (SWELPRES) have been developed. To evaluate the effect of backfill characteristics and interface element from the transmitted lateral swelling pressures, four cases of thickness of backfills with or without interface elements are investigated.

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