Experimental and numerical analysis of triaxial compression test for a clay soil

Víctor A. Hernández-Hernández1, Diego R. Joya-Cárdenas2, Luisa N. Equihua-Anguiano3, Julio C. Leal-Vaca4, José A. Diosdado-De la Peña5, Luis Pérez-Moreno1, Noé Saldaña-Robles1, and Alberto Saldaña-Robles1*
Soil compaction causes negative effects on crop yield and its mechanical response analysis has recently gained relevance for research through numerical methods. Inthiswork, Finite Element Method (FEM) using the Mohr-Coulomb (MC) and Hardening Soil (HS) constitutive models were employed to simulate the mechanical response of a Vertisol agricultural soil. First, an experimental study of the unconsolidated-undrained (UU) triaxial compression test with different moisture contents (w = 10%, 20% and 34%) and confining pressures (σ3 = σc = 0.05 MPa, 0.10 MPa and 0.15 MPa) was carried out, to obtain the shear strength parameters cohesion (c) and friction angle (φ), as well as the Young's modulus (E) of the soil. The experimental study was conducted through a 32 factorial design with three replicates that it was used to evaluate the influence of the w and σc on E of the studied soil. Also, ananalysis of the behavior of the φ and c parameters at each w was performed. Numerical simulations were done with similar conditions as the experimental tests with respect to loading and boundary conditions. A comparison of the mechanical response between numerical results and physical experimentswas carried out. As a result, the MC model allowed to estimate satisfactorily the stress-strain relationship of the soil forw of 10% and 20%, while HS model exhibited a better approximation for w of 34% in comparison with the MC model. Finally, the methodology and the adjusted parameters of the agricultural soil obtained in this work, can be used in the study of soil compaction produced by the agricultural machinery.
Keywords: Finite element method, Hardening soil model, Mohr-Coulomb model, triaxial compression test, Vertisol soil.
1Universidad de Guanajuato, División de Ciencias de la Vida, Ex Hacienda El Copal km 9, carretera Irapuato-Silao, C.P. 36500, Irapuato, Guanajuato, México. *Corresponding author (alberto.saldana@ugto.mx).
2Universidad de Santander, Facultad de Ingenierías, Calle 70 No. 55-210, Bucaramanga, Colombia.
3Universidad Michoacana de San Nicolás de Hidalgo, Departamento de Ingeniería Civil, Av. Francisco J. Múgica S/N, Ciudad Universitaria, C.P. 58004, Morelia, Michoacán, México.
4Universidad de Guanajuato, División de Ingenierías, Av. Juárez 77, Zona Centro, C.P. 36000, Guanajuato, Guanajuato, México.
5Youngstown State University, College of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics, 1 University Plaza, OH 44555, Youngstown, Ohio, USA.