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International Journal of Current Engineering and Technology

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Research Article
Analysis of Buckling of Piles Fully Embedded in Ground According to Finite
Element Method
Vlora ShatriȦ*, Luljeta BozoḂ, Bajram ShefkiuȦ and Burbuqe ShatriȦ
Ȧ
Department of Materials and Construction, Faculty of Civil Engineering & Architecture, University of Prishtina, Kosovo
B
Department of Urban Planning and Environment Management, University of Polis, Tirana, Albania

Accepted 17 January 2014, Available online 01 February 2014, Vol.4, No.1 (February 2014)

Abstract

This work intends to present the analysis of buckling of piles fully embedded on ground and subject to axial force in
compression based on the Finite Element Method. The approach of eigen values is used for calculation of buckling forces
of piles within this method. To calculate the critical buckling force by use of Finite Element Method the SAP 2000
software is utilized where a reinforced concrete pile of circular cross section, D=30cm, concrete class C-25/30, of 5m
length, the modulus of elasticity of soil, k=1000kN/m 2, with pinned end conditions (p-p) on the head and on the tip, is
considered. The constant modulus of soil reaction is adopted throughout the depth. The comparison of amount of the pile
buckling force obtained from software SAP 2000 with its theoretical value and by Euler’s force is done.

Keywords: Finite Element Method, Pile, Pile buckling, Pile buckling force, Pile buckling length, Stiffness matrix.

1. Introduction subject to only compresion force by using the beam


element formulation.
1
The fundamental principle this method is based on, is the
division of the body or of the space considered (under 2.Analysis of of pile buckling and determination of
consideration) on finite elements in such a way as, each critical force
element being analyzed as an izolated member as well as
by assuming a relationship inbetween (interconnection 2.1 Determination of pile buckling force when k=const
between), is then analyzed as an integral body. This
method of analysis starting from particular to general or, The problem of pile buckling is closely related to the
from individual to universal, where a general conclusion is problem of a beam on an elastic base (L., Hetenyi, M.I.,
drawn by analysing particular elements is known as 1960). If an elastic flexural beam is subject to axial force
inductive approach. This approach is widely used in then this force will have an effect on the beam
resolving engineering problems when a closed solution is deformation too, therefore with an aim to calculate a
hardly obtained. response of a vertical pile fully embedded on ground and
The Finite Element Method is the most effective way externally loaded with an axial force, the pile will be
for resolving (analyzing) beams supported on an elastic considered (treated) as a beam on an elsatic foundation
base. It is more effective (convenient) than the method of (Matlock, H. and L. C. Reese).
finite diferences, since the last mentioned requires quite The flexure of the beam/column due to the vertical-
diferent formulation of the equations for the ends and the axial force is closely related to the buckling force of a pile
end conditions, whilst division of the analyzed body in (Timoshenko, S. P. and J. M. Gere, 1961). The basic
elements of various lengths is particularly difficult when equation of the pile flexure subject to axial force is as
this method is used. follows:
Within the Method of Finite Elements, the continuum
of endless (infinite) degrees of freedom is substituted with d4y d2y
a discrete system of finite degrees of freedom and is then EI 4
P 2 k y  0 (1)
dx dx
analyzed by a discrete analysis method. With regard to
(concerning) mathematical formulation, the analyzed where:
problem passed from the field of analysis to the field of E– modulus of elasticity of the pile (kN/m2)
algebrae. This method is used with the aim of valuing the I– second moment of inertia of the pile (m4)
buckling force of the pile fully embeded onthe ground and P– axial force on pile (kN)
k- modulus of soil reaction (kN/m2), and
y- pile displacement (m)
*Corresponding author: Vlora Shatri
201 | International Journal of Current Engineering and Technology, Vol.4, No.1 (Feb 2014)
Vlora Shatri et al Analysis of Buckling of Piles Fully Embedded in Ground According to Finite Element Method

For the pile pinned supported on both ends, the end k l4
conditions will be: B (7)
 EI
4

It is easy to show that minimum value of critical force Pkrit


y x  0  0; y ' ' x  0   0 corresponds to the below value:
(2)
y x  l   0; y ' ' x  l   0

The solution of the differential equation is:



n  k  E  I 
3

1
4
l  EI  B
1
4
(8)

For the pile with end conditions pinned-fixed, the Euler’s


 n   x 
y x   C  sin  (3) force is:
 l 
2
The solution of differential equation for the force (P) is: PE  EI (9)
4l2

2 1 k l2 By substituting n to PE, in equation (6), after certain


Pkrit  n 2 EI  2  2 (4)
l 2
n  adjustment the following is obtained:

where is:
Pkrit 
1
k  E  I  1 2
(10)
PE -Euler’s force for column made of elastic material: 2

2 The critical buckling length will be determined out of the


PE  EI (5) condition:
l2

P EI
The first part of the equation (4) corresponds to Euler’s  0  l0    4 m (11)
equation for buckling of column while its second part l k
 
reflects the contribution of lateral restraint caused by the n
surrounding soils. In equation (4) the relation force –
deflection is taken as linear and the modulus of soil Out of hereby it is seen that the buckling length or as it is
horizontal reaction is constant with the depth, and for most called, the critical length, contains the following two
of soft soils this is not a case. elements: the pile element expressed through pile stiffness,
To determine the minimum amount for , the n EI, and the soil element expressed through design
values (Figure 1) should be investigated for each value of coefficient of soil reaction, k. If the pile is to stiff
l. comparing to the soil, then the buckling length reaches
relatively high values meaning that the pile load will cause
considerable deflection. In contrary, if the soil is too stiff
Pk /√(kEI)

against the pile, then the buckling length of the pile would
be relatively small. In this way it is possible that for the
system pile – soil the buckling length to be determined and
out of the solution of the given problem the point in which
the deflection of pile is equal to zero and underneath of
which the deflection amount is so small such as the same
may be neglected. If the pile is shorter that it’s buckling
length that it is called a short pile, whilst the pile with its
length longer than its buckling length is called a slender
column. With other words, as higher the ratio between pile
stiffness and soil (stiffness), the bigger pile length is
required in order to consider it flexible.
For calculation of critical buckling force of the pile
pinned at both ends, it is possible that in certain cases the
Figure 1 Buckling force Pk, in a non-dimensional form
equation (Davisson, M. T., July 1963) is used:
and in function of pile length l and n

For the pile embedded in an elastic medium, the general Pkrit  2  k  E  I (12)
expression for critical buckling force is:
Partcularly for higher values of l, the critical buckling
 B force is calculated relatively high accuracy according to
Pkrit  PE  n 2  2  (6) expression (Shnell, W., Czerwenka, G.):
 n 

where n is the number of sinusoidal semi-wave in a curved Pkrit  2  k  E  I (13)


form of the column,

202 | International Journal of Current Engineering and Technology, Vol.4, No.1 (Feb 2014)
Vlora Shatri et al Analysis of Buckling of Piles Fully Embedded in Ground According to Finite Element Method

2.2 Determination of pile buckling force according to K E,ij   EI  N i N jdx (18)
Finite Element Method KG,ij   P  N i  N j dx (19)
The solution of diferencial equation (1) according to finite K s,ij   k  N i  N j dx (20)
element method in a more convenient form may be
obtained if Galerkins Method (Heubner, K. H., and By resolving the above equations (18), (19) and (20), the
Thornton, E. A., 1981), is used, so the equation (1) will linear stiffness matrix KE, the geometric stiffness matrix
then be converted in bellow shown shape: KG, and the soil stiffness matrix KS, take the following
shapes:
  EIN iN jdx   PN iN j dx   kN i N j dxy j  0 (14)
j

where is:
yj – six nodal dispacements of the beam u1 , v1 , 1 , u 2 , v 2 ,  2
given in Fig. 2.
Based on equation (14) the pile buckling length is
easyly resolved by use of Finite Element Method for end
conditions, self weight, material nonlinearity and for the
soil nonlinear effect (Cook,R. D., Malkus, D. S. And
Plesha, M. E., 1989).
As shown in Fig. 2, the pile is separated in finite
elements the vectors of which present axial displacement
and bendings letered {u} dhe{v}, respectively:

u u1 u2  ,
T
v v1 1 v2  2 T (15)

These deflection components may be assembled in a


column vector {y}:

y u1 v1 1 u2 v2  2 T (16)

Nj are six function shapes resulting out of these


Figure 2 Node displacements and function shapes
deflections, u1 , v1 ,1 , u2 , v2 , 2 .
Lets denote with U 0 x  dhe V0 x  the axial and flexural
displacements of any pint along x axis, respecttively: K  
E

 AE AE 
U 0 x   N a u  0 0  0 0 
(17)  L L
6 EI 
V0 x   N b v  0 12EI 6 EI
0 
12EI

 L3 L2 L3 L2 
 6 EI 4 EI 6 EI 2 EI 
Where, Na is a functional shape that defines the linear  0 0  2 (21)
L2 L L L 
interpolation of U0(x) inbetween nodes, and Nb, includes  AE AE 
 0 0 0 0 
(encompasses) the cubic function of the beam of the linear  L L 
interpolation (Rao, S. S., 1989). These shapes of functions  0 
12EI

6 EI
0
12EI
 2 
6 EI
are given with the bellow shown expressions and are also  L3 L2 L3 L 
 6 EI 2 EI 6 EI 4 EI 
shown in Fig.2 where is:  0 0  2 
 L2 L L L 
x x
N1  1  , N4 
L L
3x 2 3x 3 2x 2 x3 0 0 0 0 0 0 
N2  1  3 , N3  x   2  6 1 6 1 
L2 L L L
0 5 L 0 
 10 5L 10 
3x 2 2 x 3
N5  2  3 ,
x3 x2
N6  2  0 1 2L 1 L
L L L L 0   
KG    P 0 0
 10 15
0 0
10
0
30 
0 
(22)

 
The first integral in the above sum represents the elements 6 1 6 1
of stiffness matrix, KE, the second integral represents 0  5 L 
10
0
5L 10
 1 L 1 2L 
elements of stiffness geomemtric matrix, KG, and the third 0  0  
integral represents elements of soil stiffness matrix, KS.  10 30 10 15 
Therefore the matrix ij element is calculated as follows:

203 | International Journal of Current Engineering and Technology, Vol.4, No.1 (Feb 2014)
Vlora Shatri et al Analysis of Buckling of Piles Fully Embedded in Ground According to Finite Element Method

K  
s
The SAP software is used to determine the critical
0 0 0 0 0 0  buckling force according to FEM.
0 156k 22 kL 0  13kL 
54k
A reinforced concrete pile of circular cross section is
 given and with the following end conditions: pinned in the
L  0 22kL 4 kL2
0 13kL  3kL2  (23)
   bottom and in the head (p-p) (Figure 3). Given data:
420 0 0 0 0 0 0 
0 54k 13kL 0 156k  22kL D=30cm,
 
0  13kL  3kL  22kL 4kL2 
2
0 L=5m,
C25/30,
The total stiffness of a beam element of an elastic K=100t/m2=100kN/m2,
continual foundation is the sum of the matrixes K E  I=3.974*10-4m4
For C25/30 we read: Ecm=30.5kN/mm2
(equation 21), K G  (equation 22) dhe K s  (equation 23):
The pile is divided in “n” equal pieces length of Δx. The
modulus of soil reaction for each node is calculated as in
K    K E  K s  KG  Fig. 3.
 k11 k12 k13 k14 k15 k16  Then the modulus of soil reaction in certain points of the
 pile for k=100 t/m2=1000 kN/m2 will be:
k 21 k 22 k 23 k 24 k 25 k 26 
k k 32 k 33 k 34 k 35 k 36 
K    31  (24) K1 
1 1
k 0  x  100 0.5  25t m '
k 41 k 42 k 43 k 44 k 45 k 46  2 2
k k 52 k 53 k 54 k 55 k 56 
 51 
k 61 k 62 k 63 k 64 k 65 k 66 

Where is:
AE
k11  k 44  k14  k 41 
L
12EI 6P  156kL
k 22  k 55   
L3 5L 420
6EI P  22kL2
k 23  k 32  k 56  k 65  2  
L 10 420
12EI 6P  54kL
k 25  k 52    
L3 5L 420
6EI P  13kL2
k 26  k 62  2  
L 10 420
 3
4 EI 2 P L 4kL Figure 3 Discretization of soil-pile interaction diagram.
k 33   
L 15 420 (a) Idealization of pile structure, (b) soil modulus
6EI P  13kL2 considered constant within the depth (Chandrasekaran,
k 35  k 53   2  
L 10 420 1974).
2 EI P  L 3kL3
k 36  k 63   
L 30 420
4 EI 2 P  L 4kL3
k 66   
L 15 420

k12  k13  k15  k16  k 42  k 43  k 45  k 46  k51 


k54  k 61  k 64  k 21  k 24  k 31  k 34  0

In all above shown matrixes, AE represents the axial


stiffness of the element, P the applied force on the
element, and k, stiffness of springs that substitute the soil
and that are equivalent with the lateral rezistance
coeficient of soil. Is elastic springs are assumed at both
sides of the pile, then the components of K s  matrix in
equation (24) shall be multiplied with 2K s  .
The common way of determining critical buckling
force of a beam-column element according Finite Element
Method is determination of square roots of polinom Figure 4 First buckling shape of the pile according to SAP
determined (resulting) from the matrix [K] determinant. 2000
204 | International Journal of Current Engineering and Technology, Vol.4, No.1 (Feb 2014)
Vlora Shatri et al Analysis of Buckling of Piles Fully Embedded in Ground According to Finite Element Method

K 2  K 2  K3  K 4  K5  Hetenyi,L, M.I.,(1960) Beam on Elastic Foundation, the


University of Michigan Press
K 6  K 7  K 8  K 9  k 0  x  100 0.5  50t m '
Golul, G.H. and C.F.Van Loan (1985) Matrix Computations, The
1 1 Johns Hopkins University Press
K10  k 0  x  100 0.5  25t m '
2 2 Shamshar Prakash and Hari D.Sharma (1990) Pile Foundations
in Engineering Practice, Copyright
By use of SAP 2000 software for the pile, length of 5m, Timoshenko, S. P. and J. M. Gere, (1961) Theory of Elastic
and of =100 t/m2=1000 kN/m2, the critical buckling force Stability, McGraw-Hill Book Company Inc
obtained is Pkrit = 7371.03 kN –according to SAP 2000 Matlock, H. and L. C. Reese, Generalized Solutions for Laterally
Loaded Piles, ASCE Transactions Paper No.3370
(Fig. 4). The pile buckling length is: Cook,R. D., Malkus, D. S. And Plesha, M. E., (1989), Concepts
and Applications of Finite Element Analysis, 3rd Ed., John
12120.89 Wiley & Sons, Canada, 630
l 0  3.144  5.858m
1000 Heubner, K. H., and Thornton, E. A., (1981) The Finite Element
Method for Engineers”, 2nd edn, John Wiley & Sons, Ney
York,
Due to the buckling length being bigger than the pile Rao, S. S., (1989). The Finite Element Method in Engineering,
length, it is said that we have to do with the stiff pile. Pergamon Press, Oxford, 2nd ed., 643 p
Comparision of Eulers force for a pile pinned supported at Shamshar Prakash and Hari D.Sharma (1990) Pile Foundations
both ends (k=0) with a pile buckling force of a pile of in Engineering Practice, Copyright, 1990.
support conditions same as those of the column: Shnell, W., Czerwenka, G.: Einführung in die Rechenmethoden
des Leichtbaus.Bibliographisches Institut Mannhaeim, Band 2)
PE  4780,28kN  Pkrit  7371,03kN Chi Waia Housing Department (29 Apr 2013.) Parametric studies
on buckling of piles in cohesionless soils by numerical
methods, HKSAR Government, Hong Kong, and People’s
As it is seen, the pile buckling force is for 54.20% greater Republic of China Published online.
than the Eulers force. Vogt Prof. Dr.-Ing. Stefan Vogt Dipl. Ing., Christian Kellner Dr.-
The theorical value of the buckling force for the case when Ing. (AUG 2009) Buckling of slender piles in soft soils
n=1, is: Davisson, M. T. and H.L.Gill, Laterally Loaded Piles in a
Layered Soil System, ASCE, Proceedings of ASCE (1963)
SM3.
2 1 k l2
Pkrit  n 2  E  I  2  2  7315,885kN Davisson, M. T. and K. E. Robinson, (1965) Bending and
l 2
n  Buckling of Partially Embedded Piles, Proceedings of the 6th
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In this paperwork, the way of determination of buckling Piles, Proceedings, 2ndPan American Conference on Soil
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205 | International Journal of Current Engineering and Technology, Vol.4, No.1 (Feb 2014)