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[USACE] Geotechnical Analysis by the Finite Element Method

[USACE] Geotechnical Analysis by the Finite Element Method

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DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMYU.S. Army Corps of EngineersCECW-EGWashington, DC 20314-1000ETL 1110-2-544Technical LetterNo. 1110-2-54431 July 1995Engineering and DesignGEOTECHNICAL ANALYSIS BY THE FINITEELEMENT METHOD
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DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY
ETL 1110-2-544
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
CECW-EG
Washington, DC 20314-1000
Technical Letter31 July 1995No. 1110-2-544
Engineering and DesignGEOTECHNICAL ANALYSIS BY THE FINITEELEMENT METHOD
1. Purpose
This engineer technical letter (ETL) provides guid-complex geometries, a variety of loading conditions,ance on the use of the finite element method in thenonlinear material behavior, nonhomogeneous mate-analysis of problems in geotechnical engineering. rial distribution, and soil-structure interaction effectsThis ETL is intended for engineers who are unfa-that are not accounted for in the simpler procedures.miliar with the method, but who are interested inUnfortunately, the FEM is an underutilized technol-understanding its potential use in geotechnicalogy in the design process because engineers believeengineering.its application is time consuming, expensive, and
2. Applicability
This ETL applies to all HQUSACE elements andUSACE commands having responsibilities for thedesign of civil works projects.
3. References
See Appendix A.cation, and what resources in terms of time, effort,
4. Background
a.Numerical technique.
The finite elementseepage analysis. Appendix A includes discussionsmethod (FEM) is a numerical technique which canon the details of finite element modeling, case histo-be used to solve problems in geotechnical engineer-ries, and a section which will help interested engi-ing. Computer codes based on the FEM have beenneers find further information on how the FEM candeveloped to solve problems involving soil structurehelp in the analysis of their problems.interaction, embankment construction, seepage, andsoil dynamics.
b.Traditional methods of analysis.
Traditionalmethods of analysis often times use techniques thatare based on assumptions that oversimplify the prob-lem at hand. These methods lack the ability to ac-count for all of the factors and variables the de- signengineer faces and may severely limit the accuracy of the solution. The finite element method canovercome many of these shortcomings, therebyoffering many advantages over the conventionalapproaches. Accordingly, the FEM accounts forcomplicated. However, with recent advances in thehardware and software associated with modern digi-tal computers, a properly conducted FEM analysiscan be conducted rapidly and at a relatively low cost.
5. Objective
The objective of this ETL is to provide a basis forunderstanding what can be learned from finite ele-ment analyses, what skills are required for its appli-and cost are involved. The emphasis is on practicalapplications of the method. Appendix A containsinformation as to how the FEM can be used in soil-structure interaction, embankment construction, and
FOR THE DIRECTOR OF CIVIL WORKS
 
i
DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY
ETL 1110-2-544
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
CECW-EG
Washington, DC 20314-1000
Technical Letter31 July 1995No. 1110-2-544
Engineering and DesignGEOTECHNICAL ANALYSIS BY THE FINITEELEMENT METHOD
Table of Contents
SubjectParagraph PageSubjectParagraph Page
Appendix A
Case History: Sheet-pile Wall
Geotechnical Analysis by the FiniteElement MethodChapter 1Introduction
Background.........................1-1 A-1Types of Problems....................1-2 A-1What Can be Learned from FiniteElement Analyses.................1-3 A-1Information Required for FiniteElement Analyses.................1-4 A-2Skills Required for GeotechnicalFinite Element Analyses............1-5 A-3Required Effort and Cost...............1-6 A-3Finite Element Codes Used onCorps' Projects....................1-7 A-3
Chapter 2Static Soil Structure Interaction Problems
Results and Use of SSI Analysis.........2-1 A-4Important Features of SSI Anlaysis.......2-2 A-4Material Behavior Models..............2-3 A-4Stress-Strain Material PropertyValues..........................2-4 A-5Finite Element Mesh..................2-5 A-5Construction Sequence................2-6 A-6Calibration of the Entire Model .........2-7 A-6Case History: Retaining Wallat Bonneville NavigationLocks...........................2-8 A-6Analysis.........................2-9 A-10
Chapter 3Embankment Construction Problems
Results and Use of EmbankmentConstruction Analysis..............3-1 A-15Important Features of EmbankmentConstruction Analysis ..............3-2 A-15Case History: Birch Dam..............3-3 A-17Case History: New Melones Dam.......3-4 A-18
Chapter 4Seepage Problems
Results and Uses of SeepageAnalyses.........................4-1 A-26Types of Seepage Analyses............4-2 A-26Constitutive Law and MaterialProperties........................4-3 A-26Case History: S. A. MurrayHydroelectric Plant................4-4 A-27Case History: Cerrillos Dam...........4-5 A-28
Chapter 5Sources for Further Information
Finite Element Codes Used inthe Analysis of Past Corps of Engineers Geotechnical Projects......5-1 A-35References.........................5-2 A-35

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