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Plaxis Bulletin
Issue 25 / Spring 2009

Crane Monopile Foundation Analysis
Mohr-Coulomb Parameters for Modelling of Concrete Structures
Simulation of Soil Nail Structures using PLAXIS 2D
Table of Contents
» The Plaxis Bulletin is the combined
magazine of Plaxis bv and the Plaxis Users
Association (NL). The Bulletin focuses on the use
New Developments

Page 4
of the finite element method in geotechnical
engineering practise and includes articles on 05 Recommendations on
the practical application of the Plaxis programs,
case studies and backgrounds on the models
the use of FEM for
implemented in Plaxis. Geotechnical Applications
The Bulletin offers a platform where users of 06 Crane Monopile
Plaxis can share ideas and experiences with each
other. The editors welcome submission of papers
Foundation Analysis
for the Plaxis Bulletin that fall in any of these
Page 6

categories. 12 Mohr-Coulomb Parameters

The manuscript should preferably be submitted
for Modelling of Concrete
in an electronic format, formatted as plain text structures
without formatting. It should include the title
of the paper, the name(s) of the authors and
contact information (preferably e-mail) for the 16 Simulation of Soil Nail
corresponding author(s). The main body of
the article should be divided into appropriate Structures using
sections and, if necessary, subsections. If any PLAXIS 2D
Page 12

references are used, they should be listed at the

end of the article.
22 Recent Activities
The author should ensure that the article is
written clearly for ease of reading. 23 Plaxis Asia
In case figures are used in the text, it should
be indicated where they should be placed
approximately in the text. The figures themselves
have to be supplied separately from the text in
Page 16

a vector based format (eps,ai). If photographs

or ‘scanned’ figures are used the author should
ensure that they have a resolution of at least 300
dpi or a minimum of 3 megapixels. The use of
colour in figures and photographs is encouraged,
as the Plaxis Bulletin is printed in full-colour.
Page 22

The Plaxis Bulletin is a publication of Any correspondence regarding the Plaxis For information about Plaxis software contact
Plaxis bv and is distributed worldwide among Bulletin can be sent by e-mail to: your local agent or Plaxis main office:
Plaxis subscribers
bulletin@plaxis.nl Plaxis bv
Editorial Board: P.O. Box 572
Wout Broere or by regular mail to: 2600 AN Delft
Ronald Brinkgreve The Netherlands
Erwin Beernink Plaxis Bulletin
Arny Lengkeek c/o Erwin Beernink info@plaxis.nl
PO Box 572 www.plaxis.nl
Design: 2600 AN Delft
Blemmodesign The Netherlands Tel: +31 (0)15 251 7720
Fax: +31 (0)15 257 3107


» The lay-out of this bulletin has been adapted

to Plaxis new visual identity system. With this
new lay-out, the bulletin will be distributed as an
soil properties, special attention was given to
the concrete parameters. The results give an
indication of the tunnel settlement, the stresses in
e-bulletin, in addition to the on-line publication. the lining and the safety factor against soil failure.
For those who have not received this Plaxis
bulletin as an e-bulletin in your inbox, please visit In the third article some implications and
the Plaxis web site www.e-plaxis.nl and follow the recommendations are presented regarding
instructions on how to submit your e-mail address. the use of structural elements to simulate soil
By doing so, you will automatically receive the nail structures in PLAXIS 2D. Emphasis is given
next issues of the e-bulletin, as well as more useful to meshing issues and structural properties. A
information about Plaxis activities and services. comparison is made between the use of plate
elements and geogrid elements.
The New Developments column describes a new
initiative to distribute material data sets from The bulletin concludes with some recent activities
different soils all over the world in order to help and an agenda of upcoming events. It also brings
you making a first estimate of model parameters. our Expert Services to your attention, which is well
For this initiative we need your collaboration. appreciated by clients that have benefit from this
More information is provided in the next section. so far. All together we trust to have compiled again
We hope that many Plaxis users will participate. an interesting Plaxis bulletin, which hopefully
The subsequent section gives an overview of triggers you to participate in the various activities
various working groups in Europe that work on and initiatives. We are looking forward to more
recommendations of geotechnical finite element interactive commun–e–cation.
The Editors
The first application article describes how PLAXIS
3D Foundation was used to check the analysis
of a mono-pile foundation for a tower crane.
Different load cases and sensitivity analyses were
considered. The article shows the results in terms
of pile displacements and structural forces. The
Plaxis results are consistent with those obtained
from another analysis tool.

The second article considers the effects of

the construction of a family house above an
existing tunnel in Barcelona. In addition to the

www.plaxis.nl l Spring Issue 2009 l Plaxis Bulletin 3

New Developments
Author: Ronald Brinkgreve, Plaxis bv

Over the past 20 years, Plaxis has continuously worked on the implementation of constitutive models to describe more features
of soil behaviour in more detail. This work is generally done in collaboration with researchers and experts at universities and
research institutes. Currently, we are testing the recently implemented and well-known Hoek-Brown model for rock behaviour;
we are working on the implementation of a model for cyclic loading and liquefaction of sands, and we will start working on
an anisotropic creep model for soft soils. We also consider the implementation of the sophisticated MIT S1 model for the real
‘cracks’ on soil modelling.

» Many users appreciate that an increasing

number of soil features can be taken into
account when more advanced models become
data sets with additional information about the
type of soil, the location and initial conditions.
To simplify this, you can download a special tool
spreadsheet containing the formulas. Your data
also helps us improving the formulas.

available. Other users are more reluctant to from the Plaxis web site and use this to send your We are looking forward to your cooperation in this
use advanced models, since, in general, more data to soildata@plaxis.nl. Your data will then be research initiative.
advanced models require more parameters to be considered (anonymously) in the research. The
selected, whereas in practice soil data is rather more Plaxis users participate, the more we all References
limited. It is not the model that scares these users; benefit from this initiative. 1. Duncan J.M., Byrne P., Wong K.S. & Mabry P.
it is the number of parameters to be selected. (1980). Geotechnical Engineering – Strength,
In addition to data sets for particular soil types, stress-strain and bulk modulus parameters for
What if predefined data sets with model Delft University of Technology and Plaxis bv finite element analyses of stresses and move-
parameters for the Hardening Soil model with are currently validating formulas to derive all ments in soil masses. Virginia Tech, Blacksburg,
small strain stiffness (HSsmall) would be provided HSsmall model parameters on the basis of either USA.
for different soil types or specific soils at particular the Relative Density (for sands) or the Plasticity 2. Brinkgreve R.B.J., Engin H.K. & Engin E. (2009).
locations around the globe? This would definitely Index (for clays). These formulas may be used to Validation of empirical formulas to derive
stimulate the use of the HSsmall model over the get a first estimate of the model parameters or model parameters for sands. First International
simple Mohr-Coulomb model, such that more to check the order of magnitude. A validation Symposium on Computational Geomechanics
users will benefit from its advanced features. of the formulas for sands will be presented at (COMGEO), Juan-les-Pins, France. (in press)
However, it is not a guarantee that accurate results the COMGEO conference in April this year
are automatically obtained. Results can still be (Brinkgreve et al., 2009). Users who submit realistic
wrong by 100% (a factor 2), but probably not by and complete data sets will be rewarded with a
1000%, provided that other modelling issues have
been properly taken into account. Note that the q [kPa]
user always remains responsible if he/she uses 900
Figure 1: Liquefaction
results of numerical modelling in geotechnical 800 drained q in undrained loading;
engineering and design. 700 700 model vs. experimental
600 600
In addition to the earlier work by Duncan et al.
500 Experiment 500 drained
(1980), it is the idea to create validated data sets Critical State
400 Simulation 400
for the HSsmall model and to provide them to Line Instability
Plaxis users. Therefore, we will invest in a research 300 300 Line
programme on validation of soil data sets, in 200 200
cooperation with universities and research centres. 100 undrained
We also ask for your cooperation. If you have 0 0
worked on a project using Plaxis with the HS or 0 5 10 15 20 0 100 200 300 400 500 600 700
HSsmall model, please send us these material epsyy [%] p' [kPa]

4 Plaxis Bulletin l Spring Issue 2009 l www.plaxis.nl

Recommendations on the use of FEM for
Geotechnical Applications
Author: Ronald Brinkgreve, Plaxis bv

In Europe, a few committees are working on recommendations on the use of the Finite Element Method for geotechnical
applications. Since 1986 the European Regional Technical Committee ERTC7 has organized conferences on Numerical Methods
in Geotechnics (NUMGE). Conferences have been held in Stuttgart (1986), Santander (1990), Manchester (1994), Udine (1998),
Paris (2002), Graz (2006), and the next conference will be held in Trondheim (2010).

» The German DGGT working group 1.6

Numerical Methods in Geotechnics is
active since the early nineties. Over the years,
About the same time, another committee was
initiated by NAFEMS in the UK to give a follow
up on an earlier publication in this field (Mar,
1. Meissner H. (1991). Empfehlungen des
Arbeitskreises “Numerik in der Geotechnik” der
they have published a number of documents with 2002). NAFEMS is a non-profit organization to Deutschen Gesellschaft für Erd- und Grundbau
recommendations on the size of finite element promote the use of the finite element method in e.V. Geotechnik 14. 1-10.
meshes, the selection of models and parameters, engineering in general. 2. Meissner H. (1996). Tunnelbau unter Tage.
and other useful hints for typical applications like Empfehlungen des Arbeitskreises 1.6 “Numerik
excavations, tunnels and slopes (Meissner 1991, Plaxis is actively involved in workshops and in der Geotechnik“, Abschnitt 2. Geotechnik 19,
1996, 2002; Schanz 2006). Also various benchmarks meetings organized by all these working groups. Nr. 2. 99-108.
have been elaborated in collaboration with the In addition to the committees mentioned here, 3. Meissner (2002). Baugruben. Empfehlungen des
ERTC7, of which the results have been published there are several other persons, universities and Arbeitskreises 1.6 “Numerik in der Geotechnik”,
in three NUMGE conferences (Schweiger 1998, organizations involved in education and research Abschnitt 3. Geotechnik 25. 44-56.
2002, 2006). with the purpose to stimulate and improve the use 4. Schanz (2006). Actuelle Entwicklungen
of numerical methods and constitutive models for bei Standsicherheits- und Verformungs-
In France, a new committee was initiated in geotechnical applications. This short message is berechnungen in der Geotechnik.
2008 by the geotechnical division of LCPC to not intended to give a complete overview, but we Empfehlungen des Arbeitskreises 1.6 “Numerik
consider typical French situations. In particular, are interested to hear about similar initiatives. in der Geotechnik”, Abschnitt 4. Geotechnik
the use of the pressuremeter test as the main 29. 13-27.
source of soil investigation leads to special Please inform us by sending an e-mail with further 5. Schweiger H.F. (1998). Results from two
recommendations for model parameter selection. details to info@plaxis.nl. geotechnical benchmark problems. Proc. 4th
The recommendations should also consider Eur. Conf. on Num. Meth. in Geotechnical
reinforced soil structures. Engineering. Cividini A. (ed.) Springer. 645-654.
6. Schweiger H.F. (2002). Results from numerical
benchmark exercises in geotechnics. Proc.
5th Eur. Conf. on Num. Meth. in Geotechnical
Engineering. Mestat P. (ed.). Paris: Presses Ponts
et Chaussees. 305-314.
7. Schweiger H.F. (2006). Results from the ERTC7
benchmark exercise. Proc. 6th Eur. Conf. on
Num. Meth. in Geotechnical Engineering.
Schweiger H.F. (ed.) Taylor & Francis.
8. Mar A. (2002). How to undertake Finite
Element based geotechnical analysis. NAFEMS

www.plaxis.nl l Spring Issue 2009 l Plaxis Bulletin 5

Crane Monopile Foundation Analysis
Author: Dr Andrew Mar, Coffey Geotechnics Limited, Atlantic House,
Atlas Business Park, Simonsway, Manchester, M22 5PR, United Kingdom, andrew_mar@coffey.com

This article describes the use of PLAXIS 3D Foundation v2.1 (Plaxis, 2008) to analyse the deformation and stability of a
crane monopile foundation supporting a tower crane in close proximity to an existing two-level basement structure. Coffey
Geotechnics were engaged to carry out a Category 3 check of the crane monopile foundation. As part of our quality assurance
procedures a number of comparisons were made to assess the performance of PLAXIS 3D Foundation for analyzing this
particular problem.

» PLAXIS 3D Foundation results on simplified

representations of the pile foundation
were compared with Coffey in-house developed
derived in the first instance from data in a
comprehensive geotechnical investigation
interpretative report. In summary, the site
The monopile is a composite structure as shown in
Figure 3 which comprises a 16.825m length of steel
pipe (Outer diameter 2.2m with a wall thickness of
analytical tools. The crane monopile is a is underlain by: 2m of made ground, 4m of 40mm) surrounded by a 6.825m length of concrete
composite structure composed of concentric weathered London Clay, 14.5m of London clay, caisson (Inner diameter of 3m with a wall thickness
elements and the effect of using the pile designer 19.5m of Lambeth Clay and 3.5m of Thanet Sands of 160mm) in the upper portion of the pile where
in developing such a configuration was explored. founded on Upper Chalk. it is known that the high lateral loads will develop.
The monopile is a composite structure of The infill between the concrete and steel is a
concentric elements and this was modelled using a Given the transitory nature of the crane loading cement-bentonite grout mixture and the infill in
combination of volume elements defined using the a short-term undrained response of the ground the steel pipe is a 20:1 sand-cement mixture. The
pile designer in PLAXIS 3D Foundation. The pile was considered appropriate; consequently an basement structure comprises three floors and
cross-section for each concentric component was undrained analysis was performed using undrained a contiguous piled wall composed of 28.825m
modelled as a circular tube with the appropriate soil parameters. A range of soil parameters were length; 900mm diameter piles at 1050mm centres.
diameter and wall thickness. considered for the detailed analysis and because The horizontal distance between the bored pile
of the extreme nature of the problem in terms of wall and crane monopile centrelines is 3.2m. The
Description of the Problem Considered the close proximity of the surrounding structures top of the crane monopile is connected to the top
The proposed foundation is a monopile situated and uncertainties with regard to soil strength and of the basement structure by a 500 thick reinforced
very close to an existing two-level basement stiffness due to construction stage effects; the concrete slab as shown in Figure 1.
as illustrated in Figure 1. As well as ensuring final analyses assumed a single London clay layer
that the proposed design of the monopile is with very conservative values for the undrained The material properties used for this problem are
structurally capable of carrying the applied loads Young’s modulus and undrained shear strength of: summarised in Table 1.
from the tower crane, the close proximity of the 30MPa and 150kPa respectively.
foundation to the basement warrants investigation Interface elements have been used along the
of the loads and deformations induced in these Given the transitory nature of the loading and the outside surfaces of the monopile for all the finite
neighboring structures by the activities of the characteristics of the surrounding soils the pile/soil element models in this study. These elements are
tower crane. Such predictions would not be interaction was analysed as an undrained load used to improve the results by allowing for slip
possible via simplistic calculations hence the case. Therefore the London clay has been between the monopile and the soil and to model a
recourse to finite element modelling to gain modelled as an undrained, cohesive linear possibly reduced strength su,int = aint $ su along the
insight into this three-dimensional soil-structure elastic-perfectly plastic (Tresca) material. The sides of the monopile to account for reduced soil
interaction problem. Plaxis Mohr-Coulomb strength model was used strengths due to the effects of pile installation.
with the friction and dilatancy angles equal to
The base of the crane platform grillage (500mm zero, ^z = } = 0h cohesion equal to the continue on page 7
thick) is elevated at 9.5m above the top of concrete undrained strength ^c = suh and the Plaxis default
capping and tie slab. The tower crane is 24.4m (zero tensile strength) tension cut-off criterion in
high with a 60m long jib as shown in Figure 2. place which restricts the development of tensile
The soil parameters used in the analyses were stresses in the soil.

6 Plaxis Bulletin l Spring Issue 2009 l www.plaxis.nl

Preliminary Analyses
ERCAP Analyses
The monopile was first analysed using the
boundary element program ERCAP. The program
implements the method described by Poulos
& Davis (1980). This program can analyse a pile
subjected to lateral loading and/or lateral soil
movements. ERCAP (Earth Retention CAPacity
of piles) can analyse the effects of the proximity
of a pile to a slope or cutting in an approximate
manner. It has the facility to enable the assessment
of the stabilising force which a pile or row of
piles can develop in a potentially unstable soil
mass. In this problem it was used to model the
lateral interaction of the monopile with the
surrounding soil when subjected to the horizontal
load and overturning moment at the pile head.
The objective of the preliminary analyses was to
compare results from Plaxis 3D Foundation with

The ERCAP program restricts the user to a single

uniform pile geometry. For this reason, two
separate analyses were performed with uniform
cross-sectional representations of the actual crane Figure 1: Cross-section and plan showing the crane monopile
monopile. To bound the predictions of lateral pile and adjacent basement structure
deflection in the London clay; the performance
of the steel pipe alone and the composite pile
were considered. The first analysis modelled the
steel tubular section whereas the second analysis
modelled the composite pile; each over the full
16.825m length of pile. For the latter, a composite
Young’s modulus of 12.4GPa for a solid circular pile
of 3.32m diameter was calculated on the basis of
REI/R I (see Table 2).
Both the in-service and out-of-service crane
loads were considered (Table 3) to identify the
worst case combination which would develop the
highest deflections, shear forces and bending
moments in the monopile. This was for the
situation without any horizontal restraint offered
by the tie-slab.

Both the in-service and out-of-service load cases

were performed undrained and this is applicable Figure 2: Schematic of the Tower Crane Structure

www.plaxis.nl l Spring Issue 2009 l Plaxis Bulletin 7

Plaxis Practice: Crane Monopile Foundation Analysis

as the key stratum is London clay with an average displacements, bending moments and shear defined at the various depths in the model where
coefficient of consolidation cv of 0.3m2/year. For forces to be output in a convenient manner. This it is known that a change in geometry or structural
drainage paths, D , in the range of 5.5 to 30m and was performed for every workplane defined in element will begin or end.
an out-of-service time, t, of 1 year say, the the model. Workplanes are the horizontal planes
dimensionless time factor T^= cv t/D h
is less than 0.01 and Duncan(1996) has suggested
c z c } E y
that the soil can then be considered to behave in K0
kPa MPa - Rinter
kN/m3 o o
an undrained manner under the loading specified.
London Clay 20 1 0 150 0 30 0.495 0.85
With reference to Figure 1, it can be seen that
the crane grillage soffit level is elevated at 9.5m Steel 77 - - - - 2E5 0.3 -
above the top of concrete and tie slab. Thus for a
Concrete 24 - - - - 2.1E4 0.15 -
1m thick crane platform grillage the lever arm will
be 10m - inducing an additional bending moment 20:1 Sand/Cement
20 - - - - 30 0.25 -
equal to the horizontal crane load multiplied by Mix
this lever arm. For the in-service crane loads this Cement-Bentonite
produces an overturning moment of 6642kNm at 24 - - - - 200 0.15 -
the top of concrete capping and tie slab.
Table 1: Material Properties of the Soil and Pile
Graphs 1 and 2 show the ERCAP predictions of
pile deflection in the London clay for the steel
Outer Inner Young’s Second
tube alone and composite pile respectively under UCS Flexural Rigidity
diameter diameter modulus Moment of
the action of the in-service and out-of-service (MPa) El (kNm2))
(m) (m) (kPa) Area l (m4)
load conditions. It can be seen that the in-service
loads produce slightly higher horizontal pile head Caisson 3.32 3 20 2.100E+07 1.988E+00 4.174E+07
displacement. From the deflected pile shapes it 0 1000 2000 3000 4000 5000 6000 7000
Cement/Bentonite 3 2.2 2 2.000E+05 2.826E+00 5.652E+05
can be seen that the composite pile is behaving
more like a short rigid pile than the steel tube Steel tube 2.2 2.12 - 2.000E+08 1.584E-01 3.167E+07
alone. The actual crane monopile is a combination
of these two simplifications and so it is expected 20:1-4Sand/Cement Mix 2.12 0 0 3.000E+04 9.915E-01 2.975E+04
that the deflections will fall within the range of
deflection predictions shown for this extreme case Table
-6 2: Material and Physical Properties of the Crane Monopile
without a tie-slab in place. RI = 5.964E + 00 REI = 7.401E + 07
Depth BGL (m)

Graphs 3 and 4 show the ERCAP predictions of In-Service Loads: H=40kN M=6642kNm
bending moment and shear force developed Out-of-Service Loads: H=191kN M=5014kNm
in the pile for these two load conditions. It can
Composite Pile
be seen that the in-service loads induce higher Steel Tube

bending moments and shear forces in the pile. -12

-0.002 -0.001 0 0.001 0.002 0.003 0.004 0.005
-0.002 -0.001 0 0.001 0.002 0.003 0.004 0.005 0.006 0.007
PLAXIS 3D Foundation Analyses -2
The three-dimensional analyses considered -4

two idealisations of the pile: (1) a ‘simplified -16 -6

composite pile’ consisting of a solid circular pile -6
Depth BGL (m)

with a: Young’s modulus of 12.4GPa, diameter -8

Depth BGL (m)

-8 In-Serv
of 3.32m and length of 16.825m (as used in the In-Service Loads: H=40kN M=6642kNm
Bending Moment (kNm) Out-of-Service
-10 Loads: H=191kN, M=5014kNm
ERCAP analyses) and (2) a ‘complex composite -10

pile’ comprising individual concentric elements -12


as summarised in Table 2 (see the next paragraph

for further details on modelling). The horizontal -14

deflections, bending moments and shear force -16


predictions are broadly similar as shown in Graphs

5-7 thus confirming the idealisation approaches -18
Deflection (m)
Deflection (m)
and different analysis methodologies used. Graph 1: Steel Pile Deflection Predictions from ERCAP Graph 2: Composite Pile Deflection Predictions from ERCAP
Modelling the Composite Monopile in PLAXIS 3D Foundation
Modelling of the Complex Composite Pile
The series of concentric elements (Figure 3) 0 0
0 1000 2000 3000 4000 5000 6000 7000 -700 -600 -500 -400 -300 -200 -100 0 100 200 300
forming the crane monopile were explicitly
-2 -2
modelled in PLAXIS 3D Foundation using the
pile designer. This was achieved by selecting -4 -4

the circular tube pile type which is defined by

its wall thickness and internal diameter. Tubular -6 -6

piles were specified for the concrete caisson,

Depth BGL (m)
Depth BGL (m)

-8 -8
cement-bentonite grout and steel pipe and each In-Service Loads: H=40kN M=6642kNm In-Servi
of these components were centred on plan at the -10
Out-of-Service Loads: H=191kN M=5014kNm

same ^ x, zhcoordinate. This created a mesh of

solid elements with full connection at the mating -12 -12

boundaries between each concentric component.

-14 -14
Through the pile designer, interface elements
were specified along the outside boundaries -16 -16

of the monopile to allow for the simulation of

slippage and separation between the soil and -18 -18

Bending Moment (kNm) Shear Force (kN)

monopile. The use of the pile designer creates
an equivalent structural line element along the Graph 3: Pile Bending Moment Distribution Predictions Graph 4: Pile Shear Force Distribution Predictions from ERCAP
centreline of the pile which enables the pile: from ERCAP

8 Plaxis Bulletin l Spring Issue 2009 l www.plaxis.nl

Plaxis Practice: Crane Monopile Foundation Analysis

Three Dimensional Analyses of Crane Monopile The initial stresses in the ground were computed
deq = d 3 d n /s
& Basement using the K0-procedure with K0=1 for the London 4
In order to predict the interaction of the Clay layer. As the analysis was in terms of total
monopile with the ground and the adjacent stress parameters no pore water was modelled so Where d is the diameter of the pile and s is the
basement structure, a 3D finite element analysis the phreatic level was set below the level of the centre-to-centre pile spacing.
using PLAXIS 3D Foundation was performed. A base of the model. The soil and monopile were modelled using
serviceability limit state analysis (no partial factors 15-noded wedge elements. The horizontal, vertical
applied to materials) was performed with the The basement floors were idealised using 6-noded and moment loads applied to the monopile were
unfactored working loads applied to the pile head triangular plate elements and the basement walls rationalised into equivalent horizontal and vertical
at ground level. The analysis did not consider the were modelled using 8-noded quadrilateral plate pressures acting over the steel pipe cross-section.
detailed stages of excavation and construction elements. The contiguous bored pile wall was Interface elements were inserted between the soil,
of the basement. The following phases were idealised as a continuous plate with a reduced walls, floors and outside surfaces of the monopile
considered: thickness, deq , to account for the spacing of the to simulate the reduced strength between the
piles: soil and these structures. For these analyses an
interface reduction factor of 0.85 was assumed,
Load Case
Horizontal Thrust Vertical Load Overturning Moment resulting in a reduced undrained shear strength of
H (kN) V (kN) M (kNm) 127.5kPa between the soil and non-soil structures.
In-service crane 40 -1622 6242
Four 3D finite element analyses were undertaken
to model the excavation and ‘wished-in-place’
Out-of service crane 191 -1565 3104
construction of the basement and the subsequent
monopile with loading based on the tower crane
Table 3: Loads at the base of the crane
load specifications. The soil-structure interaction
between the monopile, walls and floors was
Phase Description Notes simulated in these analyses. These analyses
considered the in-service load combination
0 In-Service
Generation of initial stresses Loads:
in the H=40kN
virgin M=6642kNm K0-Procedure
ground and the results confirmed that the worst case
0 Wishing in place of the basement structure and contigu- No basement construction details were
corresponded to case 2 of Table 6.
-0.002 -0.001 ous pile0 wall 0.001 0.002 0.003 0.004 available
2 Installation of the crane monopile Previous displacements reset to zero This section summarises a selection of results from
the PLAXIS 3D Foundation analyses.
3 Application of the crane loads
Plot 1 shows the deformed shape for Model 2
Table 4: Phases for the Analysis of the Crane Monopile & Basement (Table 6) Phase 3 (Table 4) – note that the partial
geometry feature has been used to hide the
Depth BGL (m)

ERCAP Simplified Composite Pile
London clay.
PLAXIS 3DF - Simplified Composite Pile
-10 PLAXIS 3DF - Complex Composite Pile
In-Service Loads: H=40kN M=6642kNm
Plot 2 shows the horizontal deflection of the crane
0 monopile and this was obtained by double-
-12 -0.002 -0.001 0 0.001 0.002 0.003 0.004 0.005
clicking the structural line element representation
of the pile. The shear force and bending moments
-4 developed in the pile were obtained in a similar
manner and these are shown in Plots 3 & 4.
-16 -6
These plots are direct outputs from PLAXIS 3D
Foundation with no additional post-
Depth BGL (m)

ERCAP Simplified Composite Pile
processing made.
PLAXIS 3DF - Simplified Composite Pile
Deflection (m) -10 PLAXIS 3DF - Complex Composite Pile

-12 The resolution of the shear force diagram is a

result of the relatively coarse mesh being used.
However, independent checks described in
-16 paragraph “PLAXIS 3D Foundation” on similar
Figure 3: Schematic showing the cross-section of the mesh refinements of the simplified pile provide
upper portion of the monopile foundation Deflection (m) confidence in the accuracy of these results.

Graph 5: Pile Deflection Comparison between PLAXIS and The deformation pattern of the contiguous pile
In-Service Loads: H=40kN M=6642kNm In-Service Loads: H=40kN M=6642kNm wall is shown in Plot 5. This is to an exaggerated
0 0 scale of 5000x to make the deformations visible.
0 1000 2000 3000 4000 5000 6000 7000 8000 -600 -500 -400 -300 -200 -100 0 100
Predicted deformations are very small with a peak
-2 -2
total displacement of around 0.6mm.
-4 -4

The deformed shape of the floors is shown in Plot

-6 -6
6 – again shown to an exaggerated scale (2000x).
Predicted deformations are very small with a peak
Depth BGL (m)

Depth BGL (m)

-8 -8
ERCAP Simplified Composite Pile ERCAP Simplified Composite Pile
PLAXIS 3DF - Simplified Composite Pile total3DFdisplacement
PLAXIS - Simplified Composite Pile of around 0.7mm.
-10 PLAXIS 3DF - Complex Composite Pile
-10 Complex Composite Pile

-12 -12 The deformed shape of the tie-slab is shown in

Plot 7 to an exaggerated scale of 500x. A peak
-14 -14
total deformation of 3mm is predicted to develop
-16 -16 at the leading edge of the tie-slab.
-18 -18
BM (kNm) SF (kN)

Graph 6: Pile Bending Moment Comparison between PLAXIS Graph 7: Pile Shear Force Comparison between PLAXIS and continue on page 10

www.plaxis.nl l Spring Issue 2009 l Plaxis Bulletin 9

Plaxis Practice: Crane Monopile Foundation Analysis

c Thickness m
E y Discussion and Conclusions
kN/m3 MPa -
The user-friendliness of PLAXIS 3D Foundation
enabled a number of sensitivity studies to
Tie-Slab 500 mm thick 24 0.5 21 0.15
be explored in a straightforward and timely
manner which is vital for commercial work.
Floor 400 mm thick 24 0.4 21 0.15 Sensitivity studies were performed to investigate,
mesh density, model extent, load application
approaches and material property variation.
Floor 1000 mm thick 24 1 21 0.15
An investigation was made to explore the effect
of a reduction in the stiffness of the cement-
Contiguous Pile Wall:
0.742 bentonite mix between the concrete caisson and
900 mm diameter piles at 24 21 0.15
(equivalent thickness)
1050 mm c/c spacing steel pipe. The reduction of this from 600MPa
to 200MPa was found to have little effect on the
Table 5: Physical and Material Properties of the Tie-Slab and Basement Floors & Wall
behaviour of the monopile.

The analyses did not consider the detailed stages

Including Tie Slab of excavation and construction of the basement so
Model Description
at ground level
the deformations and loads predicted to develop
Jib load and moment and tailwind applied away from the contiguous pile wall in the basement could not reliably be taken
1 No
without the surface tie-slab into account. To address this, the predictions of
movement and structural forces induced in the
Jib load and moment and tailwind applied away from the contiguous pile wall with basement during this phase were discounted
2 Yes
the surface tie-slab
by zeroing displacements at the start of Phase 2
Jib load and moment and tailwind applied in the direction towards the contiguous and by external post-processing of the structural
3 Yes
pile wall with the surface tie-slab propping against the basement wall in place forces developed between Phase 3 and Phase 1.
Therefore, the structural forces and displacements
Jib load and moment and tailwind applied parallel to the contiguous pile wall with reported are in addition to the existing structural
4 Yes
the surface tie-slab providing restraint forces and displacements due to the wall and floor
loads and live loads applied to the basement.
Table 6: Models Load Conditions Considered
The results of the ERCAP analyses predict that the
monopile will deflect laterally between 4-6mm
with bending moments in the range of 5014kNm to
Cement Peak Pile Head 6642kNm and shear forces in the range 444kN to
Peak Vertical
Bentonite Horizontal Peak Bending Peak Shear Force Peak Axial Force
Model Displacement 562kN (this is without the tie-slab in place).
Young’s modulus Displacement Moment kNm kN kN
MPa mm

2 600 0.5 -2.7 6960 -928 -1970 The ERCAP analyses identified that the worst
case crane loads were the in-service combination
2 200 0.8 -2.7 6980 -922 -1970 comprising a horizontal thrust, axial load and
overturning moment of 40kN, -1662kN and
Table 7: Worst Case Model 2 – Monopile Displacements and Structural Forces 6242kNm respectively and these were assumed
to act at the crane base, which is 10m above
ground level. This resulted in a horizontal thrust H,
axial load V and overturning moment M of 40kN,
Cement Bentonite Young’s
Model Tie-Slab Peak Compressive Load kN Tie-Slab Peak Tensile Load kN -1662kN and 6642kNm acting at the top of the
modulus MPa
monopile at ground level.
2 600 -234 776
2 200 -324 942 Plaxis predicted the worst case deflection to be
Table 8: Worst Case Model 2 – Tie-Slab Structural Loads
5.4mm horizontal (model 1 – without tie-slab) and
this results in a pile head rotation at ground level
of 0.000831 radians (which would result in a 29
mm deflection 34.4m above ground level). The
Peak Wall bending moment in the monopile for this case is
Cement Bentonite Peak Wall Cement
Horizontal Peak Axial Load in 6170 kNm which is of the same order of magnitude
Model Young’s modulus Bending Model Bentonite Young’s
Displacement Floor Slab kN as that found in the ERCAP analysis. The results of
MPa Moment kNm modulus MPa
mm the PLAXIS analysis predict that the monopile will
2 600 -0.300 -200 2 600 261 deflect laterally by 0.5-0.8mm with peak bending
2 200 -0.301 -200 2 200 260 moments in the range of 6960kNm to 6980kNm
and shear forces in the range 922kN to 928kN (this
Table 9: Worst Case Model 2 Table 10: Worst Case Model 2 – Floor Axial Load is with the tie slab in place).
Contiguous Pile Wall Displacements and Bending Moments
The maximum horizontal wall deflection is of the
order of 0.3mm which is negligible and the peak
bending moment of 200kNm is generated

The maximum compressive axial load developed

in the 500mm thick tie-slab is 1490kN for the
Plot 1: Deformed Mesh Shown
loading condition in model 3. The maximum
to an Exaggerated Scale (Model 2, Phase 3)
tensile axial load developed is 942kN for the
loading condition in model 2. The structural
capacity of the monopile and tie-slab system is
adequate under the action of these structural
loads (well within the 20MPa compressive strength
of the concrete and the 275MPa yield stress of the

10 Plaxis Bulletin l Spring Issue 2009 l www.plaxis.nl

Plaxis Practice: Crane Monopile Foundation Analysis

Acknowledgement • Tomlinson, M.J. (1994) Pile design and construc- • Gaba, A.R., Simpson, B., Powrie, W., Beadman,
The Author would like to express thanks to his tion practice (4th edition), E & FN Spon, London D.R. (2003) Embedded retaining walls – guid-
colleague Dr Caesar Merrifield for his feedback • Ng, C.W.W., Simons, N. and Menzies, B. (2004) ance for economic design (C580), CIRIA
regarding this article. A Short Course in Soil-Structure Engineering of • BS EN 1997-1:2004 Eurocode 7. Geotechnical
Deep Foundations, Excavations and Tunnels, Design, BSI/CEN
References Thomas Telford, London
• Mar, A. (2002) How To Undertake Finite Element • Potts, D., Axelsson, K., Grande, L.., Schweiger,
Based Geotechnical Analysis, NAFEMS (The H. and Long, M. (eds.) (2002) Guidelines for the
International Association for the Engineering use of Advanced Numerical Analysis, Thomas
Analysis Community) Telford, London
• Wood, D.M. (2005) Geotechnical Modelling, • Poulos, H.G. (1992) Program ERCAP (Earth Re-
Spon Press taining Capacity of Piles) Users Manual, Coffey
• Poulos, H.G. and Davis, E.H. (1974) Elastic solu- Geosciences Pty Ltd.
tions for soil and rock mechanics, John Wiley, • Duncan, J. M. (1996). State of the art: Limit Equi-
New York librium and Finite-Element Analysis of Slopes,
• Poulos, H.G. and Davis, E.H. (1980) Pile Founda- Journal of Geotechnical Engineering, ASCE 122,
tion Analysis and Design, John Wiley & Sons, No.7, July, pp. 557-596
New York • Brinkgreve, R.B.J. and Swolfs, W.M. (eds.) (2007)
• Potts, D.M. and Zdravković, L. (1999) Finite PLAXIS 3D Foundation version 2 User Manual,
element analysis in geotechnical engineering: Plaxis bv, The Netherlands
theory. Thomas Telford, London. • Atkinson, J.H. (2007) The Mechanics of Soils and
• Potts, D.M. and Zdravković, L. (2001) Finite Foundations (2nd edition), Taylor and Francis
element analysis in geotechnical engineering: Group
application. Thomas Telford, London. • Elson, W.K. (1984) Design of laterally loaded
• Smith, I.M. and Griffiths, D.V. (1988) Program- piles, CIRIA Report 103
ming the finite element method (2nd edition), • Matlock, H. and Reese, L.C. (1960) Generalised
John Wiley, Chichester solutions for laterally loaded piles, Proc. ASCE,
J. Soil Mech. Found. Div. Vol 86 (SM5), pp. 63-91

Plot 2: Horizontal Displacements (Model 2, Phase 3) Plot 3: Shear Forces (Model 2, Phase 3) Plot 4: Bending Moments (Model 2, Phase 3)

Plot 5: Contiguous Pile Wall - Deformed Shape Plot 6: Floors - Deformed Shape Shown to an Exaggerated Plot 7:Tie Slab -Deformed Shape Shown to an Exaggerated Scale
Shown to an Exaggerated Scale (Model 2, Phase 3) Scale (Model 2, Phase 3) (Model 2,Phase 3)

www.plaxis.nl l Spring Issue 2009 l Plaxis Bulletin 11

Mohr-Coulomb Parameters for Modelling of
Concrete Structures
Author: Dusko Hadzijanev Ardiaca. MOST Enginyers S.L., dha@most.es

The usual procedure for modelling structures in PLAXIS v8 is to introduce plates, which are one-dimensional beam
elements. This way, the results are beam deformations and cross-section forces that will allow the calculation
of stresses with post-Plaxis procedures. However, the introduction of one-dimensional elements within two-
dimensional soil elements requires the assumption of simplifying hypothesis. As recommended in PLAXIS v8
Reference Manual, this approach should only be used to model the behaviour of slender walls, plates or thin shells.

» An alternative procedure for modelling

more complex structures is to introduce
these elements as clusters of the model which will
calculation that was made using this approach on
concrete modelled as a Mohr-Coulomb material.
which was made about 40 years ago. At the
present, an old building exists in the same spot
where the housing will be constructed, so previous
be discretized in two-dimensional mesh elements. Project Description demolition and excavation of the basement will be
Some examples where this can be applied are The example shown in this article relate to the necessary. New building will have one basement
plates with variable cross-sections, non slender construction of a family house in Barcelona. The and three floors. The existing construction and its
structures or models where the structure weight building will be constructed on a spot where neighbours are two or three floors high.
has to be determined accurately. The difficulty of the subway passes 9 m below the street level, Our research is intended to determine the
this procedure is to set up the material model for as shown in Fig. 1. The tunnel belongs to the influence of this construction to the tensional and
these clusters. This article gives an example of a extension of the first line of Barcelona subway, deformational conditions of the existing tunnel.

Figure 2: input of the model

Figure 1: Project geometry

12 Plaxis Bulletin l Spring Issue 2009 l www.plaxis.nl

FE Analysis
The stresses and displacements in the tunnel have Average E c
depth c y { }
been calculated before the construction of the [kN/m3] [kN/m2] [-] [kN/m2] [o] [o]
housing, during the excavation and at the final
situation. The calculations were performed using
Fill 1.0 17.00 6000 0.30 0.10 22 0
PLAXIS v8 with about 1200 15-noded elements.
Input of the model is showed in Figure 2. Fine sand 2.1 19.00 8000 0.30 0.10 34 0
The main calculations phases are described below:
Silt 4.5 19.00 8000 0.30 5.00 29 0

1. Construction of the tunnel. Because of the Gravel and sand 12.5 20.00 40000 0.30 0.10 34 0
existing buildings above the tunnel, this could
not be done in open-cut procedure. Table 1: Mohr-Coulomb soil parameters
2. Current situation. Uniformly distributed loads
of 20 kN/m2 have been considered to take in
c c { } E50ref Eoedref Eurref m yur pref
account the weight of the existing constructions Rf
[kN/m3] [kN/m2] [o] [o] [kN/m2] [kN/m2] [kN/m2] [-] [-] [kN/m2]
and road traffic.
3. Excavation of the parking floor and execution of
the foundation slab, as retaining walls. Loads of Fill 17.00 0.10 22 0 25912 25912 77737 0.60 0.20 100 0.90
20 kN/m2 are applied.
Fine sand 19.00 0.10 34 0 23268 23268 69804 0.60 0.20 100 0.90
4. Construction of the building. It’s considered as
a uniformly distributed load of 40 kN/m2. Silt 19.00 5.00 29 0 13242 13242 39726 0.70 0.20 100 0.90

Soil Properties Gravel and sand 20.00 0.10 34 0 42597 42597 127791 0.50 0.20 100 0.90
Two sets of calculations were made using
Table 2: Hardening-Soil model soil parameters
two different material models on soils: the
Mohr-Coulomb model and the Hardening Soil
model. The soil parameters are summarized concrete has been carried out considering several Regarding the plasticity parameters of Mohr-
in Tables 1 and 2: Regarding the presence of hypotheses in a conservative way. Coulomb model, these can be obtained from
water, no phreatic levels were detected during compressive and tensile strengths according to
ground testing and had not been considered in In this sense, two hypotheses concerning the the representation of the yield surface as shown
calculations. quality of the concrete were considered, given by in Figure 3:
the characteristic compressive strength: fck = 15
Concrete Parameters MPa and fck = 25 Mpa, from now on “HM-15” and
The existing tunnel was built about 1970. “HM-25”.
According to the project’s history, the structure
does not have a tunnel invert and the vault is The elastic modulus E was determined through the
constituted by mass concrete. formula proposed by the Spanish regulation EHE-
98. According of this, the longitudinal deformation
The concrete of the tunnel was characterized modulus relates to the compressive strength as
having elastoplastic behaviour using the Mohr- follows:

E = 8500 $ 3 fck + 8 6 Lpa @

Coulomb drained material model.

Even if previous laboratory tests revealed that the Two values of Poisson’s ratio were considered: a
mass concrete is considerably strong, the choice value y = 0.2 according to EHE-98 and a value of
of the elastic parameters ( E and y ) and strength y = 0.0 according to Eurocode-2 Recommendation
parameters (c, z, and tensile strength) of the for fissured concrete. Figure 3: Deduction of Mohr-Coulomb plasticity parameters

www.plaxis.nl l Spring Issue 2009 l Plaxis Bulletin 13

Plaxis Practice: Mohr-Coulomb parameters for modelling of concrete structures

Where vc and vt are compressive and tensile According to P. Jiménez Montoya

strengths. Values of these can be compared to the
Tensile strength
allowable stresses proposed by P. Jiménez Concrete designation Cohesion: c (kN/m2) Friction angle:z (kN/m2)
Montoya (1971) for a mass concrete:
HM-15 712 54.9° 450
vc = 0.30 $ fck
HM-25 1186 54.9° 750
vt = 0.03 $ fck
In addition, the EHE-98 establishes the following
formula to calculate the shear resistance among According to EHE-98
concrete joints:
Tensile strength
Concrete designation Cohesion: c (kN/m2) Friction angle:z (kN/m2)
xmd # b $ fct,d + Ast $ fya,d $ ^ n $ sin a + cos ah
s$p HM-15 365 35.0° 1216
+n $ vcd # 0.25 $ fcd HM-25 513 35.0° 1710

Where vcd is the value of external normal

stress applied to the joint plane. Considering a According to EC-2
reinforcement steel section Ast equal to zero, the
Tensile strength
resulting formula has the same shape than the Concrete designation Cohesion: c (kN/m2) Friction angle:z (kN/m2)
failure criterion of Mohr-Coulomb, with:
HM-15 387 9° 1216
HM-25 500 9° 1710
c = b $ fct,d
n = tgz Table 4: Mohr-Coulomb strength parameters for mass concrete according different methods

Where ct, d is the design value of tensile strength
of the concrete given by: HM-15 HM-25
fct,d = 0.30 $ ^ fckh /1.50 6 MPa @
2/3 c [kN/m3] 24 24

E [kN/m2] 24173 27264

Where b and n are coefficients that depend on
the degree of roughness of the joint as shown in y 0.2 0.2
table 3. c [kN/m2] 365 513

z [o] 35 35
Type of surface
Tensile strength for tension
Low roughness High roughness 450 750
cut off [kN/m2]

b 0.2 0.4 Table 5: Material properties of mass concrete

n 0.6 0.9
HM-15 y=0.00 HM-15 y=0.20 HM-25 y=0.20
Table 3:b and n values according to EHE-98
Average values of b= 0.3 and n = 0.7 were adopted. 1.13 / 1.13 1.13 / 1.13 1.16 / 1.16

The values of Mohr-Coulomb strength parameters Table 7: Msf values of calculations. Material models for soils are [Mohr-Coulomb / Hardening-Soil]
can also be obtained according to the Eurocode-2.
The following formula is given for the shear
resistance for members not requiring design shear
reinforcement: The formula for the tensile strength from EC-2 is Outputs after phi-c reduction phases shows that
VRd,c = 6CRd,c k^100t y fckh1/3 + k1 vcp @ bw d
identical to the shown formula from EHE-98. failure mechanism is produced on soil below
tunnel side walls. Some plastic points appears on
With a minimum of: Table 4 summarizes the Mohr-Coulomb the tunnel, but doesn’t seem to be related to the
strength parameters according to the explained failure, as shown in Figure 6:
VRd,c = ^vmin + k1 vcph bw d
From here on we can establish: Conclusions
The final set of parameters considered to model Tunnel structure was modelled using two-
xRd,c = VRd,c /bw d = vmin + k1 vcp , which has the form the tunnel material are shown in Table 5: dimensional elements and a Mohr-Coulomb
of the Mohr-Coulomb failure criterium with: material model was used for modelling mass
Results of Calculations concrete.Mohr-Coulomb strength parameters
x = xRd,c Table 6 shows synthetic results. The first for concrete were estimated using two different
c = vmin values corresponds to Mohr-Coulomb and the methodologies. Concerning a mass concrete of
tgz = k1 second ones to Hardening-Soil, both models about 15-25 MPa of characteristic compressive
vcp = v' for characterizing soils. Some of the calculated strength, the values obtained were: cohesion of
stresses are shown in Figure 4. 365-513 kN/m2, friction angle of 35º, and tensile
where according to EC-2: strength of 450-750 kN/m2. In the example
To evaluate the obtained deformations 5 points presented, many calculations were done to test
vmin = 0, 035xk3/2 xfck1/2 , where fck is in MPa where selected for curve representation. These parameter sensitivity. Results show that this
are shown in Figure 5: approach gives realistic results for complex
k = 1+ 200 # 2, 0 where d is in mm structures where the use of plate elements is not
Displacement were reset to zero once constructed suitable.
so for this structure will be k = 2,0 and k1 the existing tunnel and before the application
recommended value is 0,15 of the loads. Results shows that building load Other methodologies for evaluating shear
counteracts previous excavation, so stresses strength of concrete are proposed by Rui Vaz
Therefore: remains similar than in the actual conditions Rodrigues (2007). This article encourages Plaxis
6 MPa @
c = 0.035# 23/2 # fck1/2 c
fck phases. Finally, a phi-c reduction phase was done users who want to follow the same approach.
100 in each model to determine safety factors. Results
tgz = 0.15, soz = 9% are summarized on Table 7: continue on page 15

14 Plaxis Bulletin l Spring Issue 2009 l www.plaxis.nl

Plaxis Practice: Mohr-Coulomb parameters for modelling of concrete structures

Figure 4. Stresses on the HM-25 type concrete.

These outputs are from the building loading phase and Hardening-Soil model for soils

HM-15 y=0.00 HM-15 y=0.20 HM-25 y=0.20

Plastic points (%) 22.4 / 24.9 25.1 / 22.1 23.2 /25.3

Tension cut off points (%) 0.07 / 00 0.15 / 0.00 0.00 / 0.00

Max horiz. compressive

1880 / 1930 1880 / 1940 2670 / 2690
stress [kN/m2]

Max vertical
compressive stress 2360 / 2450 2450 / 2390 3440 / 3090

Max shear stress [kN/m2] 954 / 1050 915 / 1030 1250 / 1370 Figure 5: Points for curves

Settlement on C (mm) 17 / 14 17 / 14 16 / 12

Convergence B-D (mm) -3 / -2 -3 / -2 -3 / -1

Convergence A-E (mm) 6/6 6/7 4/6

Excavation Plastic points (%) 4.6 / 9.7 4.9 / 9.8 4.1 / 4.4

Tension cut off points (%) 0.00 / 0.07 0.00 / 0.22 0.00 / 0.00

Max horiz. compressive

1710 / 1850 1740 / 1850 2060 / 2030
stress [kN/m2]

Max vertical
compressive stress 1960 / 2160 2080 / 2100 2870 / 2540

Max shear stress [kN/m2] 978 / 969 821 / 985 1150 / 1290 Figure 6: Plastic points on phi-c reduction phase. This shows
the calculation with HM-15 y=0.20 concrete and Mohr-Coulomb
Settlement on C (mm) 4/9 4 / 10 1.5 / 8 material model for soils.

Convergence B-D (mm) 1/1 1/1 1/1

• Brinkgreve et al. (2004). Plaxis Reference
Convergence A-E (mm) 17 / 9 16 / 9 14 / 9
Manual. Plaxis bv., The Netherlands.
• Comisión Permanente del Hormigón (1998).
Building Plastic points (%) 17.3 / 22.4 17.2 / 21.9 14.5 / 4.4
Instrucción del Hormigón Estructural. Ministerio
de Fomento, Centro de Publicaciones, Madrid.
Tension cut off points (%) 0.15 / 0.00 0.00 / 0.07 0.00 / 0.00
• P. Jiménez Montoya (1971). Hormigón Armado.
Tomo 1. Editorial Gustavo Gili, S.A., Barcelona.
Max horiz. compressive
1920 / 1840 1900 / 1860 2600 / 2390 • Rui Vaz Rodrigues (2007). Shear strength of
stress [kN/m2]
reinforced concrete bridge deck slabs. Thèse
École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne, no
Max vertical
compressive stress 2400 / 2420 2430 / 2370 3420 / 3020
3739, Lausanne.

Max shear stress [kN/m2] 966 / 1040 882 / 1030 1240 / 1360

Settlement on C (mm) 18 / 13 18 / 14 15 / 12

Convergence B-D (mm) 3/2 3/2 2/1

Convergence A-E (mm) 14 / 7 13 / 8 11 / 7

Table 6: Results on tunnel using Mohr-Coulomb material model for concrete. Material models for soils are
[Mohr-Coulomb / Hardening-Soil]

www.plaxis.nl l Spring Issue 2009 l Plaxis Bulletin 15

Simulation of Soil Nail Structures using PLAXIS 2D
Authors: G.L. Sivakumar Babu (Associate Professor), Vikas Pratap Singh (Research Scholar)
Department of Civil Engineering, Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore 560 012, Karnataka, India.
E-mail: gls@civil.iisc.ernet.in, vikasps@civil.iisc.ernet.in

Soil nailing is an in-situ earth retaining technique and it has been excessively used all over the world for the various
slope stability applications. The efficiency of soil nail structures is the resultant of complex soil-structure interaction
among its various components, namely, in-situ soil, stiff reinforcement (i.e nails) and the facing. Often rigorous
computational techniques based on finite element or finite difference methods are employed to study the complex
soil-structure interaction and to assess the performance and stability of soil nail structures. PLAXIS 2D has been
comprehensively used for the study of soil nail structures (e.g. Shiu et al. 2006; Fan and Luo 2008).

» Soil nailing is an in-situ earth retaining

technique and it has been excessively used
all over the world for the various slope stability
Jewell and Pedley (1992) concluded that the
effects of bending and shear resistances can be
ignored in the design and analysis of soil nailing
of the suggestions based on the literature and
authors’ experiences related to the use of PLAXIS
2D for simulations and analyses of soil nail
applications. The efficiency of soil nail structures is with marginal conservatism. In practice, ignoring structures.
the resultant of complex soil-structure interaction the effects of shear and bending resistances of
among its various components, namely, in-situ soil nails, soil nailing analysis and design has been Connection of Soil Nails to the Wall Facing
soil, stiff reinforcement (i.e nails) and the facing. radically simplified and this approach is commonly In practice, a soil nail is rigidly connected to the
accepted (e.g. FHWA 2003). wall facing (FHWA 2003; Joshi 2003) by means of
Often rigorous computational techniques based bearing plate and hexagonal nut to the temporary
on finite element or finite difference methods are It has been noted from the literature related to facing which in turn is connected with permanent
employed to study the complex soil-structure the use of PLAXIS 2D for the study of soil nail facing using headed studs via bearing plate
interaction and to assess the performance and structures that users are using both geogrid forming a rigid connection with the continuous
stability of soil nail structures. PLAXIS 2D has been (e.g. Plaxis 2002; Liew and Khoo 2006) and plate reinforced concrete permanent facing. In PLAXIS
comprehensively used for the study of soil nail (e.g. Babu and Singh 2007; Fan and Luo 2008) 2D, connection between two plate structural
structures (e.g. Shiu et al. 2006; Fan and Luo 2008). structural elements to simulate nails. It is to be elements by default represents a rigid connection.
noted that the use of geogrid structural elements Therefore, use of plate structural elements to
Incorporation of bending and shear resistances completely ignores the bending stiffness the soil simulate soil nails and wall facing is recommended
of nails in the analysis and design of soil nail walls nails, on the other hand, plate structural elements to account for the rigid nail-facing connection.
had been a much debatable issue reported in the accounts for the same. This article provides an
literature. For example, Juran et al. (1990) reported insight into the implications of the analysis of Mesh Density, Boundaries and Fixity Conditions
that inclined nails (10-15 0) would tend to undergo a the soil nail structures by the use of geogrid (or 15-node triangular elements can be used for
local rotation to approach the horizontal direction plate) structural elements for simulation of nails. generating finite element mesh. PLAXIS 2D
of maximum soil extension, and therefore, the Additionally, a few suggestions are being made offers choice of mesh density ranging from very
effect of bending stiffness has significant effect on for the proper simulation of soil nail walls using coarse to very fine. A detailed discussion on the
the development of nail forces. Schlosser (1991), PLAXIS 2D, which may be beneficial to the soil implications of mesh density on the analysis of soil
based on his multicriteria theory in soil nailing nailing practitioners. nail structures has been presented in the later part
and observations from the extensive experiments of the article.
(such as national research project Clouterre) Simulations of Soil Nail Structures
and other works related to soil nailed retaining using PLAXIS 2D Briaud and Lim (1997) provided information
structures in France over 10 years, stated that, at Simulation of soil nail structures using PLAXIS about where to place the boundaries so that their
failure bending and shear resistances of grouted 2D is time efficient and relatively easy due to the influence on the results of the numerical simulation
nails are mobilised, however, the influence of user friendly environment. However, given the of soil nail wall can be minimised. They suggested
bending stiffness and shear on the global safety capability of the computational tool, the accuracy that bottom of the mesh is best placed at a depth
factor is small (less than 15%). of the analysis is significantly dependant on the where soil becomes notably harder (say at a depth
user’s understanding about the computational D below the bottom of the excavation). Based on
tool and the problem itself. Following are some the studies of Briaud and Lim (1997), if D is not

16 Plaxis Bulletin l Spring Issue 2009 l www.plaxis.nl

exactly known, D can be taken as two to three Use of Interface Elements rigidity (bending stiffness) EI and the axial
times the vertical depth of excavation H . It has been reported in the literature that the stiffness EA (for geogrid structural element only
Further, for known values of D and H , width of coefficient of soil-reinforcement interaction the axial stiffness EA is required). Both plate and
excavation We can be taken equal to three to four obtained from field pullout tests (e.g. Wang and geogrid structural elements are rectangular in
times D and the horizontal distance from wall face Richwein 2002) is found to be significantly more shape with width equal to 1 m in out-of-plane
to the end of mesh boundary Be can be chosen than unity. Therefore, use of interface elements direction.
equal to three to four times ( H + D ). Figure 1 between nail and soil can be eliminated and
shows the mesh boundaries and fixity conditions. default setting of “Rigid Interface” in material sets Since, the soil nails are circular in cross-section
menu for soil and interfaces can be used in the and placed at designed horizontal spacing, it
Material Models simulation process. is necessary to determine equivalent axial and
Most commonly used material model to simulate bending stiffnesses for the correct simulation of
in-situ soil for excavation and retaining structures Equivalent Nail Parameters circular soil nails as rectangular plate or geogrid
applications is the HS-model (Hardening soil Soil nail structures are modeled as plane strain elements. A detailed discussion on the suitability
model). However, if all the input parameters for problem in PLAXIS 2D. As stated earlier, plate (or of plate or geogrid structural elements to model
HS-model are not available, alternatively Mohr- geogrid) structural elements can used to simulate soil nails is presented later, given below is the
Coulomb material model can be used. Facings and nails. The most important input material general procedure to determine equivalent
nails can be modeled as elastic materials. parameters for plate elements are the flexural material parameters.

For the grouted nails, equivalent modulus of

elasticity Eeq shall be determined accounting for
the contribution of elastic stiffnesses of both grout
cover as well as reinforcement bar. From the
fundamentals of strength of materials, Eeq can be
determines as:
Eeq = En ` An j + Eg ` g j (1)
where: Eg is the modulus of elasticity of grout
material; En is the modulus of elasticity of nail;
Eeq is the equivalent modulus of elasticity of
grouted soil nail; A = 0.25rD DH
is the total cross-sectional area of grouted soil nail;
Ag = A - An is the cross-sectional area of grout
cover; An = 0.25rd2 is the cross-sectional area of
reinforcement bar and DDH is the diameter of drill
hole. If, Sh is horizontal spacing of soil nails,
knowing the equivalent modulus of elasticity
Eeq (equation 1) for the grouted soil nail, the axial
and bending stiffnesses can be determined using
equations (2) and (3) respectively.

Axial stiffness EA 6 kN/m @ =

Eeq rD2 DH
c m (2)
Sh 4

Bending stiffness EI 6 kNm2 /m @ = eq c rD DH m

Figure 1: Mesh boundaries and fixity conditions (Briaud and Lim 1997) E 4
Sh 64

www.plaxis.nl l Spring Issue 2009 l Plaxis Bulletin 17

Plaxis Practice: Simulation of Soil Nail Structures using PLAXIS 2D

Substituting, EA and EI values in the material plate or geogrid elements) and facing (modeled as Study on the use of “plate” or “geogrid”
properties menu for Plate elements, PLAXIS plate element) shall be activated. This procedure Elements for Simulating Soil Nails
automatically determines the equivalent plate can be followed till finish livel of the soil nail wall is As brought out earlier, in practice, both plate
thickness in meter deq using equation (4). reached. and geogrid structural elements are being used
to simulate soil nails in modelling of soil nail
12 c EI m structures using PLAXIS 2D. In the light of fact that
Updated Mesh Analysis
deq = (4)
In order to take into account the effects of large consideration of bending and shear resistance of
EA p
deformations, PLAXIS 2D provides an optional soil nails is conservatively ignored in the analysis
Procedure for Numerical Simulations ‘Updated Mesh’ analysis to perform basic types and design of soil nail structures, suitability of
PLAXIS (2006) and the information available in of calculations (Plastic calculation, Consolidation using plate or geogrid structural element in
leterature (e.g. Shiu et al. 2006; Fan and Luo analysis, Phi-c reduction). Results of the finite modelling soil nails has been examined.
2008) may be referred for the understanding element simulation of the 10 m high soil nail wall
of simulations of soil nail walls with complex using ‘Updated Mesh Analysis’ are indicated in Two soil nail walls of 10 m and 18 m vertical height
geometry and loading conditions. Table 1. Material properties and other soil nail wall designed conventionally with reference to FHWA
parameters adopted are given in Table 2. (2003) are considered for the study. Two different
Staged construction option shall be used to It may be observed from Table 1 that the use of heights of soil nail walls are selected for the
simulate the infuence of construction sequence of ‘Updated Mesh’ results in marginal influence on analysis so that a comparison can be made based
soil nail walls (indicated as E1 , E2 , … En , in Figure the soil nail wall simulation results. Additionally, on the trends observed. Prime objective being
1). In each excavation stage, soil cluster updated mesh analysis increases the calculation to highlight the implications of the use of plate
representing excavation lift (defined in input time significantly. Similar observations are made or geogrid elements to simulate soil nails, similar
program) is deactivated and nails (modeled as for the 18 m high soil nail wall. geometry and same in-situ soil conditions have
been used throughout the analysis.

Parameters Using plate elements Using geogrid elements Both the walls are simulated using PLAXIS
2D following the procedure and preliminary
Normal Updated mesh Normal Updated mesh suggestions stated earlier. Two series of
analysis analysis analysis analysis
simulations are performed, one with the use
Global factor of of plate structural elements to simulate soil
1.59 1.60 1.57 1.59 nails and the other with the use of geogrid
structural elements to simulate soil nails. At each
Max. lateral
discplacement 22.82 22.28 23.86 21.31 construction stage of both the walls, observations
(mm) are made with regard to the global factors of
safety, maximum lateral (horizontal) displacement
Max. axial force
74.82 73.29 85.44 83.80 of walls, maximum axial tensile developed and
development of bending moment and shear force
Table 1: ‘Update Mesh Analysis’ of soil nail wall simulation (H = 10 m) in nails (for plate elements only).

Figure 2 shows the PLAXIS 2D models for both 10

Parameter Value m and 18 m high soil nail walls. Various material
properties and other parameters used for
Vertical height of walls H [m] 10.0 and 18.0
simulation are as indicated in Table 2. “P” and
Nailing type grouted “G” in the plots of the analysis correspond to the
Simulation model plane strain
observations made for simulations using plate and
geogrid structural elements respectively.
Element type 15- node

In-situ soil Figure 3 shows the trend of variation of global

factor of safety of the soil nail walls with
Material model Mohr-Coulomb
construction stage. It is evident from Figure 3
Cohesion c [kPa] 4.0 that for fully constructed soil nail walls (i.e. 100%
Internal friction angle z[deg] 31.5 construction), consideration of bending stiffness
of nails in the analysis have negligible influence on
Unit weight c [kN/m3] 17.0
the global stability. In other words, both plate and
Elasticity modulus Es [MPa] 20.0 geogrid structural elements are able to capture
similar response and hence, either of the two can
Poison’s ratio of soil ys 0.3
be used. However, it is worth noting from Figure
Grouted nails and facing 3 that consideration of bending stiffness of nails
Material model elastic in the analysis has significant influence during
the construction stage. Geogrid elements results
Yield strength of reinforcement fy [MPa] 415.0 in significantly less factors of safety for global
stability in comparison to the plate elements.
Elasticity modulus of reinforcement En [GPa] 200.0 Alternatively, it can be interpreted that bending
stiffness plays important role in the stability of
Elasticity modulus of grout (concrete) Eg [GPa] 22.0 soil nail walls during the construction stage. This
aspect is overlooked if geogrid elements are used
Diameter of reinforcement d [mm] 20.0 (25.0)
to simulate soil nail in the finite element analysis of
Drill hole diameter DDH [mm] 100.0 soil nail walls.
Length of nail L [m] 7.0 (13.0)
Figure 4 shows the trend of maximum lateral
Declination wrt horizontal i [deg] 15.0
displacements of the soil nail walls with
Spacing Sh x Sv [m] 1.0 x 1.0 construction stage. It is evident from Figure 4 that
Facing thickness t [mm] 200.0 displacement response captured by both geogrid
elements and plate elements closely resembles
Table 2: Parameters adopted for numerical simulations using PLAXIS 2D and hence, results in negligible influence on the
Note: Figures in bracket correspond tot he 18 m high soil nail wall; all other parameteres are same
analysis of soil nail walls.
for both 10 m ad 18 m soil nail walls.

18 Plaxis Bulletin l Spring Issue 2009 l www.plaxis.nl

Plaxis Practice: Simulation of Soil Nail Structures using PLAXIS 2D

Figure 5 shows the development of maximum axial maximum bending moment and maximum shear is advisable that use of plate structural elements
force in nails with construction stage. From Figure force developed in soil nails with construction shall be preferred over geogrid structural element
5, it can be observed that on an average the stages are considerable. for simulating soil nails.
maximum axial force developed in nails simulated
using geogrid elements is found to be 15% more Figure 9 shows the variation of bending moments Influence of Mesh Density on the Soil Nail
in comparison to that developed in nails using and shear forces along the nail length for nails Structures Simulations
plate elements. In other words, lesser axial force at different levels in 10 m high soil nail wall. Another important aspect of the numerical
developed in nails simulated using plate elements Similar observations were made for 18 m high simulation of any structure is the density of finite
is credited to the contribution of bending stiffness soil nail wall. It is interesting to note that bending element mesh adopted for the analysis. PLAXIS
of the nails. moments and shear forces are concentrated near 2D provides option to the users to select mesh
the face of the wall. This provides an insight into density in the range from very coarse to very fine.
This observation is in good agreement with the the facing failure modes of the soil nail walls. As Influence of mesh density on the analysis of the
literature. Figure 6 shows the variation of axial mentioned previously, in practice, soil nail are soil nail wall and the results corresponding to the
force along the nail length for nails at different rigidly connected with the facing (FHWA 2003; analysis of 10m high soil nail wall are presented
levels in 10 m high soil nail wall. Very close Joshi 2003) and therefore, it may be desirable in Table 3. From Table 3, it can be observed
resemblance among the axial forces variation to appraise the facing design. Improper design that global factor of safety varies significantly
along nail length is evident from Figure 6 for the may lead to the bending and/or shear failures from 1.61 for very coarse mesh to 1.52 for very
nails simulated using geogrid and plate elements. of soil nails at or near the facing. Use of geogrid fine mesh. Also, maximum lateral displacement
Similar observations were made for 18 m high soil elements for simulating soil nails may lead to the varied from 20.93mm for very coarse mesh to
nail wall. complete negligence of this aspect of the soil nail 28.35mm for very fine mesh. Similar trends are
wall analysis. observed for the stress parameters in nails such
Development of maximum bending moment and as development of axial force, bending moment
maximum shear force in nails with construction Thus, from the above discussions it is apparent and shear force. Though, denser mesh may result
stages are shown in Figures 7 and 8 respectively. that the use of plate elements provides better in more accurate analysis, it is important to note
It is evident from Figures 7 and 8 that bending and insight into the analysis of soil nail walls using that increasing the mesh density results in drastic
shear capacities of soil nail start mobilising with finite element simulations. Hence, when PLAXIS increase in the overall calculation time (Table 3).
increasing construction stages. For soil nail walls 2D is used to investigate the cause of failure or Thus, appropriate mesh density shall be used
of greater heights such as 18 m, the magnitude of to assess the performance of soil nail structure, it depending upon the degree of accuracy required
and the capacity of the computing machine. In
general, coarse mesh density globally and fine
mesh density in the vicinity of the soil nail wall can
be used.

Concluding Remarks
In this article, an attempt has been made to bring
out implications of the use of plate and geogrid
structural elements for simulating soil nails on
the analysis of soil nail structures using PLAXIS
2D. Based on the observations from the analyses,
use of plate structural elements in comparison to
geogrid structural element is advised to simulate
soil nails. Further, influence of mesh density on
the analysis of soil nail structures is highlighted.
Preliminary suggestions made regarding
numerical simulations of the soil nail structures
that may be useful for the Plaxis user community in
general and soil nailing practitioners in particular.

The work presented in this article is a part of
the research project Guidelines for Soil Nailing
Figure 2: Simulated soil nail walls using PLAXIS 2D Technique in Highway Engineering (R-86) financed
by the Ministry of Shipping, Road Transport and
Highways, India. The authors express thanks to
the Ministry for funding and providing necessary
support for the project.

continue on page 21

Figure 3: Trend of global factor of safety with construction stage

www.plaxis.nl l Spring Issue 2009 l Plaxis Bulletin 19

Plaxis Practice: Simulation of Soil Nail Structures using PLAXIS 2D

Figure 5: Development of maximum axial force with construction stage

Figure 4: Trend of lateral displacements with construction stage

Figure 6: Variation of axial force along nail length (10 m high soil nail wall) Figure 7: Development of maximum bending moment with construction stage

Figure 8: Development of maximum shear force with construction stage Figure 9: Variation of shear force and bending moment along nail length
(10 m high soil nail wall)

20 Plaxis Bulletin l Spring Issue 2009 l www.plaxis.nl

Plaxis Practice: Simulation of Soil Nail Structures using PLAXIS 2D

• Babu, G. L. S. and Singh, V. P. (2007). “Plaxis Elements per Global factor
Max. lateral
Mesh density displacement Total calculation time (min)
practice - Stabilization of vertical cut using soil unit volume of safety
nailing.” Plaxis Bulletin, October, No. 22, 6-9.
• Briaud, J.-L. and Lim, Y. (1997). “Soil nailed wall Very coarse 0.39 1.610 20.93 1.13
under piled bridge abutment: simulation and
guidelines.” J. Geotech. Geoenviron. Eng.,
123(11), 1043–1050. Coarse 0.60 1.598 22.31 1.51
• Fan, C. C. and Luo, J. H. (2008). “Numerical
study on the optimum layout of soil nailed
slopes.” Comput. Geotech., 35(4), 585–599.
Medium 0.98 1.592 22.86 2.45
• FHWA. (2003). “Geotechnical engineering
circular No. 7 - soil nail walls.” Report FHWA0-
IF-03-017, U. S. Department of Transportation, Fine 2.08 1.553 24.79 5.51
Federal Highway Administration, Washington
D. C.
Very fine 4.14 1.521 28.35 15.15
• Jewell, R. A. and Pedley, M. J. (1992). “Analysis
for soil reinforcement with bending stiffness.” J.
Geotech. Eng., 118(10), 1505–1528. Table 3: Influence of mesh density on finite element simulation
• Joshi, B. (2003). “Behaviour of calculated nail Note: (1.) FS values correspond to the fully constructed wall. (2.) If FS is to be determined
head strength in soil-nailed structures.” J. Geo- after each construction stage, calculation time may increase even more drastically.
tech. Geoenviron. Eng., 129(9), 819–828.
• Juran, I., Baudrand, G., Farrag, K. and Elias, V.
(1990). “Kinematical limit analysis for design of
soil-nailed structures.” J. Geotech. Eng., 116(1),
• Liew, S. S. and Khoo, C. M. (2006). “Soil nail
stabilisation for a 14.5m Deep excavation at
uncontrolled fill ground.” Proc. 10th Int. Conf.
On Piling and Deep Foundations, 31st May – 2nd
June, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.
• Plaxis (2002). “Plaxis practice I.” Plaxis Bulletin,
June, No. 12, 14-17.
• PLAXIS. (2006). Plaxis user manual, Delft Univer-
sity of Technology & Plaxis bv The Netherlands.
• Schlosser, F. (1991). “Discussion – The mul-
ticriteria theory in soil nailing.” Groun. Eng.,
November, 30-33.
• Shiu, Y. K. and Chang, G. W. K. (2006). “Effects
of inclination, length pattern and bending
stiffness of soil nails on behavior of nailed
structures.” GEO Report No.197. Geotchnical
Engineering Office. Hong Kong.
• Wang, Z. and Richwien, W. (2002). “A study of
soil-reinforcement interface friction.” J. Geo-
tech. Geoenviron. Eng., 128(1), 92-94.

www.plaxis.nl l Spring Issue 2009 l Plaxis Bulletin 21

Recent Activities

Plaxis Products geometry and calculation phases. The Output University of Cantabria. The course was fully
Since the last bulletin we officially released PLAXIS program is a postprocessor, used to inspect the booked which we believe is partially due to the
2D v9.01 and Plaxis-GiD. PLAXIS 2D v9.01 contains results of calculations in a three-dimensional view fact that the course was completely in Spanish.
new features and some bugfixes; or in cross sections, and to plot graphs (curves) As a result of the large amount of registrations
of output quantities of pre-selected geometry an identical course was held at the same location
• Apart from the English language pack, PLAXIS points. in Barcelona in February 2009 and just like in
2D v9.01 introduces the Chinese and Japanese October 2008 the course was again fully booked in
language packs. For more information about the specific features spite of global economic recession.
• The issues with the report genarator has been of Plaxis-GiD please contact us at info@plaxis.nl
• During a phi/c reduction in PLAXIS 2D v9.0 the Increasing Interest in PLAXIS Expert Services
strength of wall elements will also be reduced. In 2008 a new service was introduced for clients
In PLAXIS 2D v9.01 only the soil strength reduc- who would like to obtain advanced support
tion is taken into account. on their numerical modelling: PLAXIS Expert
• Improvements on the Automatic Regeneration Services. In the past 6 months we have helped
of Stage Settings. clients with numerical modelling issues, we have
• Improvements on the change of multiple point given in-house courses with special requests,
loads . we have mentored new Plaxis users and we have
• A new groundwaterflow kernel is included which reviewed documents in which Plaxis models and
solves problems with some combinations of well results were used and described. These are just
properties, soil permeabilities and model sizes. some examples of the types of projects that we
can do in the framework of the Expert Services.
For more detailed information please visit the The idea behind the Expert Services is to combine
secure download page on our website. our client’s expertise in geotechnical engineering
with Plaxis’ expertise in numerical modelling
Plaxis-GiD for geotechnical applications in order to create
The PLAXIS-GiD program is a special purpose synergy and to improve efficiency and reliability.
three-dimensional finite element program used for We intend to create added value to our client, the
very complex geotechnical analysis. The modelling Plaxis user, such that he/she can better serve his/
of the geometry is done by the GiD program, her end-client.
which is based on CAD (Computer Aided Design).
The program is capable of generating structured More information about the PLAXIS Expert
and unstructured meshes and consists of a pre- Services can be found on the Plaxis web site. We
processor. In addition to the GiD pre-process are looking forward to receive more requests for
program to model a geometry, a Plaxis data tree this service.
is available to define materials, structures, loads,
fixities, prescribed displacements, interfaces and Plaxis Courses
calculation stages. The program will use the Plaxis Besides the release of products we had also some
material models as well as the Plaxis 3D kernel. memorable highlights on our activities of Courses
As a post-processor the Plaxis Output program is and Expert Services.
Late in October 2008 the well-known course on
The user interface consists of two sub-programs: Computational Geotechnics was held for the first
the GiD program with the Plaxis data tree and the time in Spain with lectures of, among others, prof.
Plaxis Output program. The GiD program is used Antionio Gens of the Polytechnical University
as a pre-processor, used to define the problem of Catalunia and prof. Cesar Sagaseta of the

22 Plaxis Bulletin l Spring Issue 2009 l www.plaxis.nl

Plaxis Asia

» Plaxis Asia took part in the 12 th International

conference of IACMAG in Goa, India from 1st
to 6th October 2008. This conference, which is held
course on Computational Geotechnics and
Agent Meeting in Chiang Mai scheduled in
December 2008. Instead we had held the agent
Asia culture of Malaysia but also the knowledge
which our three experienced professors have
imparted during the 4 days course.
every 3 years, address recent developments and meeting with the Asian and Australian agents in
relevant issues in computer methods, constitutive Singapore. We had a good discussion on topics
models and applications to different areas of ranging from sales & marketing strategies to
Geomechanics, and emerging and important new products demonstration. This meeting also
topics, and future needs, documented case provide opportunity for agents to network among
studies with integration of theory, laboratory themselves.
and field tests, and validation procedures. Our
exhibition booth which is situated just outside the The 3rd Asia Advanced course on computational
conference hall, attracted many interested parties. Geotechnics was successfully held in Kuala
Some of them even have “hands-on” experience Lumpur, Malaysia from 23 rd to 26th February 2009
on our latest Plaxis software at the booth. with more than 40 participants from Singapore,
Malaysia, Hong Kong, Iran, Germany and
Due to the political situation in Thailand we had Netherlands. The participants have not only
to cancel the planned 3rd Asia Plaxis Advanced brought back with them the experience of rich

www.plaxis.nl l Spring Issue 2009 l Plaxis Bulletin 23


Activities 2009
April 3, 2009 June, 2009 November 18 – 20, 2009
Plaxis Seminar Russian Plaxis Users Meeting Standard Course on Computational
HCMC, Vietnam St. Petersburg, Russia Geotechnics
Hongkong SAR, China
April 6 – 8, 2009 July 14 – 17, 2009
International Course for Experienced Standard Course on Computational November 25 – 27, 2009
Plaxis Users Geotechnics Standard Course on Computational
Delft, The Netherlands Chicago, USA Geotechnics
Paris, France
April 15 – 17, 2009 July 15, 2009
Standard Course on Computational Plaxis Seminar December 2 – 3, 2009
Geotechnics Manila, Philippines IS on Geotechnical Engineering Ground
Beijing, China Improvement and Geosynthetics for
August 16 – 18, 2009 Sustainable Mitigration and Adaption to
April 29 – May 1, 2009 Standard Course on Computational Climate Change
Com Geo I Geotechnics Bangkok, Thailand
Juan-les-Pins, France Tapei, Taiwan
December 9 – 11, 2009
May 23 – 28, 2009 August 24 – 26 IS on Ground Improvement Technologies
WTC2009, Advanced Course on Computational and Case Histories (1SG109)
Budapest, Hungary Geotechnics Singapore
Glasgow, United Kingdom
May 25 – 27, 2009
IS on Prediction and Simulation Methods September 9 – 11, 2009
for Geohazard Mitigation EURO TUN 2009,
Kyoto, Japan Bochum, Germany

May 27 – 29, 2009 October 5 – 9, 2009

Standard Course on Computational 17th ISSMGE
Geotechnics Alexandria, Egypt
Bangalore, India
November 5, 2009
June 15 – 18, 2009 Geotechniekdag
IS on Performance-Based Design in The Netherlands
Earthquake Geotecnical Engineering
Tokyo, Japan November 11 – 13, 2009
16th European Plaxis User Meeting
June 23 – 25, 2009 Karlsruhe, Germany
Standard Course on Computational
Manchester, United Kingdom

Plaxis bv P.O. Box 572 www.plaxis.nl Plaxis Asia 16 Jalan Kilang Timor
Delftechpark 53 2600 AN Delft Tel +31 (0)15 2517 720 Singapore #05-08 Redhill Forum
2628 XJ Delft The Netherlands Fax +31 (0)15 2573 107 Tel +65 6325 4191 159308 Singapore