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# TRIAXIAL TEST WITH HARDENING SOIL MODEL

## TRIAXIAL TEST WITH HARDENING SOIL MODEL

This document describes an example that has been used to verify the elasto-plastic
deformation capabilities according to the Hardening Soil model of PLAXIS. The problem
involves axial loading under triaxial test conditions.
Used version:
PLAXIS 2D - Version 2011
PLAXIS 3D - Version 2012
Input: A triaxial test is conducted on a geometry displayed in Figure 1 for PLAXIS 2D
and PLAXIS 3D respectively. In PLAXIS 2D an Axisymmetric model is used. The
boundary conditions of the geometry are defined as prescribed displacements assigned
to the sides of the volume. In PLAXIS 2D the left and the bottom boundaries are fixed in
the horizontal and vertical directions respectively.
The axial load 1 is represented by a distributed load on the top and bottom planes. The
pressure 2 is represented by a distributed load on the right plane and 3 is represented
by a distributed load on the front plane.

1 1

2
2
z
3
y

y x

x
PLAXIS 2D PLAXIS 3D

## Figure 1 Triaxial test - loading conditions

Material: The soil behaviour is modelled by means of the Hardening Soil model. The
density and are set to zero, the remaining model parameters are:

ref
E50 = 2.0 104 kN/m2 Eoed = 2.0 104 kN/m2 Eur
ref
= 6.0 104 kN/m2
power = 0.5 c 'ref = 1 kN/m2 ' = 35
' = 5 pref = 100 kN/m2

Meshing: In order to create an extremely coarse mesh, the Very coarse option is used
for the Global coarseness in PLAXIS 2D. The Expert mesh settings used for the model in
PLAXIS 3D are:

## PLAXIS 2012 | Validation & Verification 1

VALIDATION & VERIFICATION

## Relative element size: 20.00

Polyline angle tolerance: 30.00
Surface angle tolerance: 15.00
Snapping tolerance: 1.0010-3
Calculations: In the Initial phase zero initial stresses are generated by using the K0
procedure ( = 0). Three loading tests are performed. The sample is subjected to the
following loading tests:
Isotropic loading to -100 kN/m2
In PLAXIS 2D the left and the bottom boundaries are fixed in the horizontal and vertical
directions respectively. The loads applied to the top and the right boundary are activated.
The boundary and loading conditions for PLAXIS 3D are shown in Table 1.
Table 1 Boundary and loading conditions (Phase 1)
Location Points Dispx Dispy Dispz Loadx Loady Loadz
Front (0; 0; 0) (1; 0; 0) - - - - 100.0 -
(1; 0; 1) (0; 0; 1)
Rear (0; 1; 0) (1; 1; 0) Free Fixed Free - - -
(1; 1; 1) (0; 1; 1)
Left (0; 0; 0) (0; 1; 0) Fixed Free Free - - -
(0; 1; 1) (0; 0; 1)
Right (1; 0; 0) (1; 1; 0) - - - -100.0 - -
(1; 1; 1) (1; 0; 1)
Bottom (0; 0; 0) (1; 0; 0) Free Free Fixed - - -
(1; 1; 0) (0; 1; 0)
Top (0; 0; 1) (1; 0; 1) - - - - - -100.0
(1; 1; 1) (0; 1; 1)

After the isotropic loading, the prescribed displacement are set to zero for the following
phases. Both axial loading phases start from the isotropic loading phase.
Axial compression until failure
In PLAXIS 2D the value of the vertical load applied to the top of the geometry is changed
to -450 kN/m2 . The boundary and loading conditions for PLAXIS 3D are shown in Table 2.
Table 2 Boundary and loading conditions (Phase 2)
Location Points Dispx Dispy Dispz Loadx Loady Loadz
Front (0; 0; 0) (1; 0; 0) - - - - 100.0 -
(1; 0; 1) (0; 0; 1)
Rear (0; 1; 0) (1; 1; 0) Free Fixed Free - - -
(1; 1; 1) (0; 1; 1)
Left (0; 0; 0) (0; 1; 0) Fixed Free Free - - -
(0; 1; 1) (0; 0; 1)
Right (1; 0; 0) (1; 1; 0) - - - -100.0 - -
(1; 1; 1) (1; 0; 1)
Bottom (0; 0; 0) (1; 0; 0) Free Free Fixed - - -
(1; 1; 0) (0; 1; 0)
Top (0; 0; 1) (1; 0; 1) - - - - - -450.0
(1; 1; 1) (0; 1; 1)

## Axial extension until failure

In PLAXIS 2D the value of the vertical load applied to the top of the geometry is changed
to 100 kN/m2 . The boundary and loading conditions for PLAXIS 3D are shown in Table 3.
Output: The failure stress values of the triaxial sample are given in Table 4. The

## 2 Validation & Verification | PLAXIS 2012

TRIAXIAL TEST WITH HARDENING SOIL MODEL

## Table 3 Boundary and loading conditions (Phase 3)

Location Points Dispx Dispy Dispz Loadx Loady Loadz
Front (0; 0; 0) (1; 0; 0) - - - - 100.0 -
(1; 0; 1) (0; 0; 1)
Rear (0; 1; 0) (1; 1; 0) Free Fixed Free - - -
(1; 1; 1) (0; 1; 1)
Left (0; 0; 0) (0; 1; 0) Fixed Free Free - - -
(0; 1; 1) (0; 0; 1)
Right (1; 0; 0) (1; 1; 0) - - - -100.0 - -
(1; 1; 1) (1; 0; 1)
Bottom (0; 0; 0) (1; 0; 0) Free Free Fixed - - -
(1; 1; 0) (0; 1; 0)
Top (0; 0; 1) (1; 0; 1) - - - - - -
(1; 1; 1) (0; 1; 1)

compression and extension results of triaxial test with the can be seen in Figure 2.
Table 4 Failure stress values
Model Compression Extension
PLAXIS 2D 372.85 26.07
PLAXIS 3D 372.57 24.72

-400

-300
Vertical stress [kN/m2 ]

Extension Compression
-200

-100
PLAXIS 2D solution

PLAXIS 3D solution

0
-0.03 -0.02 -0.01 0.00 0.01 0.02 0.03 0.04 0.05 0.06 0.07
Vertical strain []

Figure 2 Compression and extension results of triaxial test with the Hardening Soil model

Verification: The theoretical solution to the failure of the sample is given by the
Mohr-Coulomb criterion:

|1 3 | 1 + 3
f = + sin c cos = 0
2 2
so that failure occurs in compression at:

1 + sin cos
1 = 3 2c = 372.86 kN/m2
1 sin 1 sin
and failure occurs in extension at:

## PLAXIS 2012 | Validation & Verification 3

VALIDATION & VERIFICATION

1 sin cos
1 = 3 + 2c = 26.08 kN/m2
1 + sin 1 + sin
The calculated and theoretical values are in good agreement with each other.