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Equivalent deformation modulus of sandy pebble soil—Mathematical derivation and numerical simulation

1 School of Civil Engineering & Transportation, South China University of Technology, Guangzhou, Guangdong 510641, China
2 School of Mechanical, Aerospace and Civil Engineering, The University of Manchester, Manchester, M13 9PL, United Kingdom
3 Guangzhou University-Tamkang University Joint Research Centre for Engineering Structure Disaster Prevention and Control, Guangzhou University, Guangzhou, Guangdong 510006, China

Special Issues: Mathematical Methods in Civil Engineering

This study aims to investigate the mechanical properties of sandy pebble soil through theoretical deduction and finite element analysis. Based on the assumption of stress uniformity or strain uniformity, the analytical formulas for calculating the equivalent deformation modulus of pebble soil are derived through RVEs. To verify the accuracy of the formulas, a series of numerical experiments are conducted through ABAQUS. Results show that theoretical calculation values match numerical simulation results well and the analytical formulas are effective when the pebble content is 0–60%. For pebble content lower than 20%, the equivalent deformation modulus could be described by “Stress Uniformity Model”. When content is 20%–60%, pebble soil is a transition state from “Stress Uniformity” to “Strain Uniformity”, for which the constitutive model could be expressed as a modified transition formula. This research is helpful for further investigation of mechanical properties of pebble soil. The theories developed in this study can be used in determining shield excavation parameters, and predicting the ground settlement caused by shield excavation.
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