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Computers and Geotechnics 91 (2017) 117130

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Computers and Geotechnics


journal homepage: www.elsevier.com/locate/compgeo

Research Paper

Numerical modelling of the effect of curing time on the creep behaviour


of a chemically stabilised soft soil
Paulo J. Venda Oliveira a,, Antnio A.S. Correia b, Lus J.L. Lemos c
a
ISISE, Department of Civil Engineering, University of Coimbra, Rua Lus Reis Santos, 3030-788 Coimbra, Portugal
b
CIEPQPF, Department of Civil Engineering, University of Coimbra, Rua Lus Reis Santos, 3030-788 Coimbra, Portugal
c
Department of Civil Engineering, University of Coimbra, Rua Lus Reis Santos, 3030-788 Coimbra, Portugal

a r t i c l e i n f o a b s t r a c t

Article history: This work studies the effect of the curing time on the creep behaviour of a stabilised soft soil, using vol-
Received 16 March 2017 umetric and deviatoric creep laws associated with constitutive models. Results of unconfined compres-
Received in revised form 19 June 2017 sive strength tests for several curing times are used to define the time evolution of the mechanical and
Accepted 11 July 2017
creep properties. The models/creep laws are validated by oedometer and triaxial creep tests, for 28
and 90 days of curing. The long-term behaviour of an embankment built on a soft soil reinforced with
deep mixing columns shows that the effect of curing time decreases the settlement and increases the
Keywords:
improvement factor.
Creep
Curing time
2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Stabilised soft soil
Deep mixing columns
Embankment on soft clay
Numerical modelling

1. Introduction the DMCs, due to the arching effect, which has a positive impact
on the reduction of the settlement of the embankment [4].
The reinforcement of soft soils with deep mixing columns When the soft soils have a high organic matter (OM) content,
(DMCs) is widely used in several countries to allow the construc- significant deformations occur in the long term (long after the
tion of embankments on such soils, mitigating their poor geotech- end of the primary consolidation process), due to the creep phe-
nical properties (low strength, low permeability and high nomenon [21,22]. Recent research studies have shown that the
deformability) [13]. Numerical analyses of the behaviour of detrimental effect of the OM content, in terms of creep deforma-
embankments (and shallow foundations) built on soft soil rein- tions, is still observed in soils chemically stabilised with binders
forced with DMCs have been performed in several works, most of [23]; in fact, creep deformations also depend on the binder quan-
them with commercial software (Plaxis, Flac, Ansys, etc) and mod- tity and composition, stress level and curing conditions [23,24].
elling the behaviour of the DMCs with elastic-perfectly plastic laws Contrary to what is usually admitted by the geotechnical com-
using MohrCoulomb failure criterion [413]. Recently, structured munity, non-negligible creep strains can occur in embankments on
models have been used to improve the numerical predictions of soft soils reinforced with DMCs [19], fundamentally induced by the
the behaviour of stabilised soils [1418]. Moreover, the creep anal- creep strain rate of the stabilised material and potentiated by the
ysis of the behaviour of DMCs was performed with the Modified arching effect which increases the stresses on the DMCs and conse-
Cam Clay model associated with two creep laws (volumetric and quently the creep strains [19,24]. In fact, field data concerning
deviatoric) [19]. some of the embankments studied have confirmed the existence
Some works have shown that the inclusion of DMCs (with a of creep strains, since they show a constant settlement rate over
much higher stiffness) in the soft soil decreases the consolidation time [2527], which may be partially due to creep phenomena,
time [4,20] and promotes the transfer of stress from the soil to since a significant reduction of the consolidation time is obtained
when DMCs are used [4,20]. In another case, much higher settle-
ment (about 100%) than that predicted numerically was observed,
without any indication of the embankments instability [28], which
Corresponding author. may be explained by the creep of the DMCs, potentiated by the rel-
E-mail addresses: pjvo@dec.uc.pt (Paulo J. Venda Oliveira), aalberto@dec.uc.pt atively low level of mechanical improvement of the DMCs.
(A.A.S. Correia), llemos@dec.uc.pt (L.J.L. Lemos).

http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.compgeo.2017.07.007
0266-352X/ 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
118 Paulo J. Venda Oliveira et al. / Computers and Geotechnics 91 (2017) 117130

Nomenclature

D shear stress level (q/qult) p0 average (volumetric) effective stress (Pa)


e_ ax axial strain rate (%/min) PI plasticity index (%)
a Singh-Mitchells (creep deviatoric) parameter qu maximum unconfined compressive strength (Pa)
A Singh-Mitchells (creep deviatoric) parameter SCR stress concentration ratio
c0 cohesion (Mohr-Coulomb parameter) (Pa) tdi deviatoric reference time
CIU isotropically consolidated undrained triaxial test tvi volumetric reference time
CSL critical state line UCS unconfined compressive strength (Pa)
cu undrained shear strength (Pa) VCL virgin consolidation line
Ca e secondary consolidation index (De/Dlogt) wL Atterberg liquid limit (%)
DMC deep mixing column wP Atterberg plastic limit (%)
E0 Youngs modulus (Pa) w0 initial moisture content (%)
eo initial void ratio WT water table
Eu Secant effective Youngs modulus for 50% of peak eax axial strain (%)
strength (Pa) eax-creep creep axial strain (%)
eko void ratio for p0 = 1 u0 angle of shear stress (Mohr-Coulomb parameter) ()
FEM finite element method c unit weigh (kN/m3)
IF improvement factor j swell-recompression index (ln scale)
K0 coefficient of earth pressure at rest k virgin compression index (ln scale)
kh horizontal permeability coefficient (m/s) m0 Poisson ratio
kv vertical permeability coefficient (m/s) r0 creep vertical effective stress applied during the creep phase
M slope of critical state line on qp0 plane (Pa)
m Singh-Mitchell (creep deviatoric) parameter r0 v-DMC vertical effective stress on DMC (Pa)
OCR overconsolidation ratio r0 v-soil vertical effective stress on soil (Pa)
OM organic matter (%) r0 y vertical effective yield stress on DMC (Pa)

Moreover, a numerical study concerning the creep on the DMCs elastoplastic analyses with coupled consolidation and creep, is
shows that, with the consideration of creep phenomena, the DMCs used in these analyses. The constitutive models chosen for the sta-
are less efficient, that is, the settlement over time increases, which bilised material is the Modified Cam Clay (MCC) combined with the
induces a decrease in the improvement factor, as well as augment- Von Mises (VM) model. The constitutive model is associated with
ing the stresses on the DMCs [19]. two creep laws, both of which depend on the curing time, thus
Although several studies have shown the enhancement of the inducing different mechanical and creep characteristics of the sta-
mechanical properties (mainly strength and stiffness) of chemi- bilised soil over time.
cally stabilised soils over time, due to pozzolanic reactions
[1,23,29], the current design of structures with stabilised soils (as
3. Description of the models/laws
usual in concrete engineering) makes use of the mechanical prop-
erties evaluated for 28 days of curing [4,19]. Considering the lack of
3.1. Creep laws
numerical studies concerning the enhancement of the mechanical
properties over longer periods of time, it is very pertinent to study
The creep strains of a soil can be broken down into a volumetric
this effect in a long-term analysis, mainly when associated with
and a deviatoric component [3032]. Based on the secondary con-
the consolidation and creep phenomena.
solidation theory stated for oedometer tests [33], creep volumetric
 
strains ecv are calculated by Eq. (1):
2. Objectives of the work Z
Cae
ecv dt 1
The novelty of this work is to joint together the effects of the 2:31 etv
creep phenomenon with the curing time (tc) in order to improve
where e is the void ratio, Cae (=De/Dlogt) the index of secondary
the long-term prediction of the behaviour of geotechnical struc-
consolidation and tv the volumetric age in relation to a reference
tures. While the creep phenomenon increases the settlement over
time (tvi). Cae can be evaluated from oedometer creep tests, since
time and reduces the efficacy of DMCs [19], the increase in
the general volumetric model in e-log r0  log t space states that
mechanical properties with curing time tends to induce the oppo-
the deformation at constant deviatoric stress levels is represented
site effect, attenuating the impact of creep.
by a series of parallel planes, consequently, Cae is constant and
Firstly, results of eodometer and triaxial creep tests for differ-
independent of the shear stress level [30]. For unstabilised soils, tv
ent curing times [1] are used to validate the performance of the
is usually evaluated by Eq. (2), which is based on the difference
constitutive models associated with the two creep laws used
between the void ratio of the current state (e1) and the one on
(composed by deviatoric and a volumetric components) and tak-
the boundary surface state (e2) [3234]:
ing the effect of the curing time into consideration. Finally, the
 
effect of the curing time on the long-term behaviour of an infi- e2 e1

nite embankment built on a soft soil reinforced with DMCs is tv tvi :e Cae =2:3
2
analysed, considering elasto-plastic constitutive models and
Singh-Mitchells law [35] is used to calculate the creep devia-
creep laws.  
A 2-D finite element program with several constitutive models, toric strains eax-creep , which are based on the evolution of the
upgraded at the University of Coimbra and capable of carrying out axial strain from drained or undrained creep triaxial tests:
Paulo J. Venda Oliveira et al. / Computers and Geotechnics 91 (2017) 117130 119

Z  m
tdi shear strains and the expansion of the yield surface of the VM
eax-creep AeaD dt 3
model. Without the VM model, any stress path inside the yield sur-
td
face of the MCC model merely originates elastic strains. Thus, the
where A, a and m are material creep parameters, D (=q/qult) is the use of the VM model is intended to replicate the non-linear beha-
deviatoric stress level and td the deviatoric age stated in relation viour within the yield surface of the MCC model [3941]. When
to a reference time (tdi). Parameter A reproduces the effect of the both yield surfaces are activated, the vector of global plastic flow
structure and stress history [36], parameter a states the influence is the sum of the plastic flow vectors in each model.
of the shear stress level [37], while parameter m reflects the Both models (MCC and VM) assume a linear elastic behaviour
variation of creep strain rate with time [35]. Based on Borja and inside the yield surface and consider an associated plastic flow
Kavazanjian [32] and Singh and Mitchell [35], Eq. (3) is valid for rule, i.e., the vector of plastic strains is perpendicular to the yield
0.20.3 < D < 0.9. For unstabilised soils, td is evaluated by Eqs. (4a) surface.
and (4b) based on the actual deviatoric strain (c1) and that on the In brief, the MCC model is an elastoplastic soil model, with a
normally consolidated state (c2) [3234]: yield function described by Eq. (5) [42]:
" #1m   
c1  c2  1  m
1
g2
Fr0ij ; ek ; tv k  j  ln p0 1 2  hek ; tv ; tc 5
td m 1 4a M
A  eaD  tdi m
where k and j are, respectively, the slope of the virgin consolidation
 
c1 c2 line (VCL) and the slope of the overconsolidation line in the plot e-
td tdi  e AeaD m 1 4b ln p0 , M is the slope of the critical state line (CSL) and g is the ratio
q/p0 . The yield function is represented by an ellipse-shaped surface
In order to improve the numerical predictions for creep, tv and
oriented in line with the p0 axis, and its size changes with the isotro-
td coincide with the current time [19] for stabilised soils.
pic preconsolidation pressure, p0 c (Fig. 1a), which depends on the
A detailed description of the creep laws associated with the
void ratio (ek), tv and the curing time (tc). The hardening rule, h
MCC and MCC/VM models can be seen in some studies
(ek, tv, tc), depends on the plastic deformations, h(ej), the volumet-
[31,32,34,38].
ric creep law, Dh(tv), and the curing time, Dh(tc) (Fig. 1b), and are
described by:
3.2. Constitutive model associated with the creep laws and curing time  
Cae tv p0ct
hek ; tv ; tc eko  e j:lnp k  j  ln 0 c
0
 ln
The behaviour of the stabilised soil is simulated by a constitu- |{z} 2:3 tvi pct 28d
ej |{z
} |{z}
c
tive model with a double-yield surface, composed by the yield sur- |{z
} Dhtv Dht c
faces of the MCC and VM models (Fig. 1a). The two yield surfaces hej
(MCC/VM) can be activated independently or simultaneously. 6
When the stress path reaches the yield surface of the VM model
and is within the yield surface of the MCC model, the yielding where eko is the void ratio for p0 = 1 (Fig. 1b). In fact, the creep phe-
(plastification) of the VM model occurs, which originates plastic nomenon and the increase in the curing time promote the change of
h(ek, tv, tc), which induces the increases of the apparent p0 c (Fig. 1b).
In practical terms, this effect corresponds to the increase of the eko
through the term Dh(tc). The deduction of Dh(tc) can be found in
p
q =M Appendix A.
Yield surface of L,q The VM model is described by Eq. (7) [34]:
the VM model C S
 
Ellipsoid of the G r0ij ; cp ; epv ; tv ; td q  qc 7
MCC model |{z}
hcp ;epv ;tv ;td ;tc

where hcp ; epv ; tv ; td ; tc is the hardening rule, represented by the


p' cA p' cB parameter qc, which depends on the plastic deformations, the volu-
(a) p' metric and deviatoric creep time and the curing time. The harden-
pc(tv, t c) ing rule is evaluated considering that the trace of the yield
surface on the qc plane is a hyperbola [38,43], represented by:
e
cp0c
e qc Rf 8
a bc
h (e )
A where a and b are normalized hyperbolic parameters, and
Rf (=qfailure/qult) is the failure ratio [44].
ekA
h(tv, t c) 4. Parameters of the materials
eA
ekB
This work is performed with a Portuguese soft soil from Baixo
eB VCLisotropic
Mondego area, either in a reconstituted state or chemically
stabilised with binders.

CSL 4.1. Soft soil


p' = 1 p'
(b)
The soft soil used in this work comes from the Baixo Mondego
Fig. 1. Effect of creep and curing time on the MCC model: (a) yield surface (p0 q area (in Portugal) and was formed on the alluvial plane of the river
plane); (b) hardening rule (ep0 plane). Mondego during the last 20,000 years, presenting a variable
120 Paulo J. Venda Oliveira et al. / Computers and Geotechnics 91 (2017) 117130

thickness over a limestone bedrock. This soil is lightly overconsol- bilised soil (Table 1) show that the stabilisation process has a great
idated (OCR < 4 5) near the surface (depth of 3.56.5 m), due to impact on the improvement of their material properties. Thus,
desiccation and fluctuations in the water table due to agricultural even for a curing time of 28 days (Table 2), the stabilised soil pre-
needs [2,3]. sents a very high unconfined compressive strength (qu  1143 kPa)
The natural soft soil used in this work is a silty soil (sand = 17 and vertical yield stress (r0 y  2300 kPa), a low pre-yield
21%, silt = 71%, clay = 812%), classified as OH [45]. It has a high compression index (Cr = 0.032) and secondary compression index
organic matter content (9.3%), which is the main cause of the (Cae  0.00102) [1].
low unit weight (14.6 kN/m3), high initial moisture content As the creep properties of the stabilised soil tend to increase
(w = 80.9%), high void ratio (e0 = 2.1), high plasticity (wL = 71%, over time, due to pozzolanic reactions [1,23], oedometer creep
wP = 42.8%, PI = 28.2%), low undrained shear strength (cu < 25 tests and drained triaxial creep tests were carried out with differ-
kPa) and high primary and secondary compressibility (k = 0.204, ent values of D to characterize the creep behaviour of the stabilised
j = 0.030, Cae = 0.0236) [2,3]. A detailed discussion of the proper- soil, for 28 and 90 days of curing time. The results of the oedometer
ties of the soil can be seen in Correia [1], Coelho [2] and Venda Oli- creep tests (Table 2) show that Cae decreases with the increase of
veira et al. [3]. the curing time (tc) from 28 to 90 days [1]; furthermore, Cae
Reconstituted samples were used in the experiments to miti- increases with the vertical stress applied during the creep phase
gate the inherent/natural variability of these types of soils. To pre- (r0 creep), as described by Eq. (9) [24].
pare these samples from the natural soil, firstly, the shell residues
were removed with a 2.36 mm mesh sieve and, after that, the Cae 1:67  106  r0creep 322:7  106 9
moisture content of the soil was adjusted to obtain a 1.5 liquidity
index, in order to ensure the destruction of the structure of the nat- Fig. 2 depicts the evaluation of Singh-Mitchells creep parame-
ural soil [2]. ters from the drained triaxial creep tests. The plot e_ ax  D
Based on previous studies [13], the parameters of the soft soil (Fig. 2a) shows that the parameter a (0.671) can be considered
used in the numerical predictions to characterize the MCC model as independent of tc, while parameter A decreases significantly
and the two creep laws (volumetric and deviatoric) are presented (from 2.4  105%/min to 1.9  105%/min) with the increase of tc
in Table 1. from 28 and 90 days. The parameter m (0.280) is evaluated from
the plot e_ ax  t (Fig. 2b) and it is assumed to be independent of tc.
Table 1 shows the parameters of the MCC/VM model and for the
4.2. Stabilised soft soil two creep laws (volumetric and deviatoric) used to predict the
behaviour of the stabilised soil with curing time.
The chemical stabilisation of the soft soil was performed with a
binder mixture composed by Portland cement Type I 42.5 R [46]
and blast furnace granulated slag (dry weight proportion of 4.3. Effect of curing time on stabilised soil
75/25) with a binder quantity of 125 kg/m3 [1]. Due to their chem-
ical compositions, the Portland cement (CaO = 63.0%, SiO2 = 19.7%, Several research studies have stated the enhancement of the
Al2O3 = 5.2%) reacts spontaneously with water (hydraulic material) mechanical characteristics of a stabilised soil with curing time
while the slag (CaO = 37.0%, SiO2 = 38.7%, Al2O3 = 11.6%) promotes [1,4854], mainly due to pozzolanic reactions. An increase in the
the long-term strengthening in consequence of the pozzolanic cementation bonds between the soil particles is expected to occur
reactions [47]. The results of the unconfined compressive strength over time, which promotes the hardness of the solid skeleton,
(UCS), oedometer and triaxial tests carried out with samples of sta- increasing the strength and decreasing the compressibility [23].

Table 1
Parameters of the soft soil and the stabilised soil (i.e. DMCs) used in the numerical analyses [1,19].

Soil type Soft soil Stabilised soil/DMC


Constitutive model MCC MCC/VM
Curing time tc (days) 28 90 360
Elastic parameters E0 (MPa) *
164.7* 189.0# 225.2#
v 0.3 0.3
MCC model ek0 2.315 5.070 5.204# 5.349#
* * * *
e0
k 0.204 0.435 0.435 0.435
j 0.030 0.0074 0.0074 0.0074
M 1.50 1.50 1.50 1.50
VM model a 0.0013 0.0013 0.0013
b 1.683 1.683 1.683
Rf 1.0 1.0 1.0
Volumetric creep law C ae 0.0236 0.00102* 0.00075*# 0.00053*#
** ** **
tvi (min) 1.0 min
#
Deviatoric creep law A (%/min) 0.001148 0.0000244 0.000018 0.000013#
m 0.978 0.28 0.28 0.28
a 0.734 0.671 0.671 0.671
** ** **
tdi (min) 1.0
a 0.007 0.0013 0.0013 0.0013
b 1.1033 1.683 1.683 1.683
Rf 0.95 1.0 1.0 1.0
*
Variable, depends on the stress level.
**
The creep time is equal to the current time.
#
Evaluated from the Eqs. (11)(14).
Paulo J. Venda Oliveira et al. / Computers and Geotechnics 91 (2017) 117130 121

Table 2
Experimental results for the stabilised soil. Effect of curing time [1].

Test Property Curing time (days)


28 60 90 180 360
UCS test qu (kPa) 1143 1433 1586 2094 1948
Eu-50% (MPa) 274 292 324 356 370
Oedometer classical test r0 y (kPa) 2300 2900 3000
Oedometer creep test C ae 0.00102 0.00076
Triaxial creep test A (%/min) 2.4  105 1.9  105

Fig. 3 plots the results of the UCS tests in terms of the evolution
0.00010
Stabilised soil of the unconfined compressive strength ratio (qu/qu-28d) against
curing time (from 28 to 360 days). As observed in several studies
= 0.671 [50,52,53] the value of qu grows faster for shorter curing times,
Strain rate (%/min)

tending to reach a constant value for higher values of tc. Thus, in


the present study, the increase of qu when the curing time varies
between 28 and 360 days is replicated by the power function
tc=28 days, t=1 min
(10), having as a reference the unconfined compressive strength
for the reference curing time of 28 days (qu-28d).
A= 0.0000244 %/min tc=28 days t=1000 min
(tc=28 days)
tc=90 days, t=1 min qutc qu28d  0:4568  tc0:2438  tc 6 360 days 10
A= 0.000019 %/min
(tc=90 days) tc=90 days, t= 1000 min
For curing times higher than 360 days, it is assumed that there
0.00001
is no increase of the cementation bonds, that is, qu is constant and
0.00 0.20 0.40 0.60 0.80 1.00
(a) equal to 2193 kPa.
Deviator stress level, D
As Eq. (10) reflects the effect of increase in the cementation
bonds on the mechanical behaviour, the same function can be used
tc=28 days, D= 0.27
to predict the evolution of the r0 y over tc with good agreement
0.00010
Stabilised soil tc=28 days, D= 0.45
(Fig. 4a):

r0ytc r0y28d  0:4568  t0:2438


tc=28 days, D= 0.62
c  tc 6 360 days 11
tc=28 days, D= 0.73
0
tc=90 days, D=0.40 Eq. (11) is also used to evaluate the increase of p c over time.
Strain rate (%/min)

tc=90 days, D=0.60 The prediction of the secant undrained Youngs modulus for 50%
of peak strength (Eu50) over tc, (Fig. 4b) is also based on Eq. (10), but
in order to match the experimental results it is necessary to use a
reduction factor (Fred = 0.4), taking the form:
m= 0.280
Eu50tc Eu5028d  Eu5028d  0:4568  t0:2438
c  Eu5028d
1
 |{z}
0:4 tc 6 360 days 12
0.00001
Fred
1 10 100 1000 10000 100000
(b) Time (min) Naturally, the increase in the cementation bonds over time
also has a positive impact on the creep compressibility of the sta-
Fig. 2. Evaluation of Singh-Mitchells creep parameters for the chemically stabilised
bilised material, decreasing the creep deformations. Thus, the
soil from the drained triaxial creep tests for a curing time of 28 and 90 days [1]: (a)
parameters A and a; (b) parameter m. functions used to predict the parameters Cae (Fig. 4c) and A
(Fig. 4d) are based on Eq. (10), but using the inverse of the func-
tion (10), that is:

1
2.0 Caetc Cae28d   t0:2438
c tc 6 360days 13
0:4568
1.8

y = 0.4568x0.2438 1
1.6
R = 0.9753
Atc A28d   t0:2438
c tc 6 360 days 14
0:4568
1.4
qu/qu-28d

In terms of numerical predictions, Eqs. (11)(14) are included


1.2 UCS tests
in the finite element method (FEM) code in order to take into
Power (UCS tests) account the effect of the curing time on the stiffness (E0 ), the
1.0
size of the yield surface of the MCC model (p0 c) and the creep
0.8 strains (Cae and A); E0 is estimated using the same relationship
for Eu50 (i.e. Eq. (12)), ek0 is evaluated from Eqs. (A.7) and (11),
0.6
0 100 200 300 400 and Cae and A are calculated from the power functions (13)
Curing time (days) and (14), respectively. Table 1 shows the estimated properties
of the stabilised soil for a curing time of 28, 90 and 360 (or
Fig. 3. Effect of curing time on the unconfined compressive strength [1]. longer) days.
122 Paulo J. Venda Oliveira et al. / Computers and Geotechnics 91 (2017) 117130

5000 400
'y (tc> 360 d) = 4410 kPa u (tc> 360 d) = 378 MPa

4000 350

tc = 360 days tc = 360 days


'y (kPa)

Eu (MPa)
3000 300
UCS test
Oedometer test
2000 250 Prediction - Power function
Prediction - Power function

1000 200
0 100 200 300 400 500 600 0 100 200 300 400 500 600
Curing time (days) Curing time (days)
(a) (b)

0.0012 tc = 28 days Triaxial creep tests


Oedometer creep tests 0.000030 tc = 28 days
Prediction - Power function Prediction - Power function

0.0010 0.000025

0.0008 0.000020
A
e

tc = 360 days
C

tc = 360 days

0.0006 0.000015

C (tc>360d) = 0.00053 A(tc>360d) = 0.000013%/min


0.0004 0.000010
0 100 200 300 400 500 600 0 100 200 300 400 500 600
(c) Curing time (days) (d) Curing time (days)

Fig. 4. Effect of curing time: (a) yield strength, r0 y; (b) secant Youngs modulus for 50% of peak strength, Eu; (c) secondary compression index, Ca; (d) parameter A of Singh-
Mitchells law.

5. Numerical prediction of the behaviour observed in the stabilised soil, isotropically consolidated with a confining pressure
laboratory tests (p0 0) of 50 kPa, for a curing time of 28 and 90 days. As expected, the
results show that the increase in the curing time promotes an
Three types of laboratory tests were used: triaxial CIU (isotropic increase in the cementation bonds due to pozzolanic reactions
consolidation followed by an undrained shear phase) tests, and, consequently, the strength of the material increases over
oedometer creep tests and multi-stage triaxial tests. The shear time; the numeric model considered is able to replicate this beha-
phase of the multi-stage triaxial tests is composed by three stages: viour. In fact, the stress-strain behaviour (Fig. 5a) obtained exper-
(i) an undrained initial stage; (ii) a consolidation and creep stage imentally matches the numerical results very well until the peak
performed for a specific shear stress level; (iii) an undrained stage strength; however, after that, the MCC/VM model is not able to
until the ultimate conditions are reached. simulate the loss of strength after the peak strength, which is
The numerical predictions were made according to the follow- due to the degradation of the structure of the stabilised soil. In fact,
ing conditions: (i) axisymmetric finite element (FE) analyses were this is an important weakness of the MCC/VM model.
carried out to simulate the conditions imposed by the tests; (ii) the In terms of stress paths (Fig. 5b), the final state is predicted by
oedometer creep tests were simulated by a mesh with 13 FE ele- the numerical analyses for both curing times reasonably well,
ments and 68 nodes; (iii) the triaxial CIU tests and multi-stage tri- although a poor prediction is obtained for the intermediate stres-
axial tests were simulated with only 1 FE element and 8 nodes; (iv) ses, since more flattened stress paths are observed in the experi-
eight-noded isoparametric quadrilateral elements were used in the ments. These differences are mainly due to the characteristics of
analyses; these elements have 20 nodal degrees of freedom, allow- the model used, since it assumes a linear elastic behaviour inside
ing the evaluation of the displacement at eight nodes and the the yield surface of the MCC model, which originates a vertical
excess pore pressure at the four corner nodes. effective stress path. As the effective stress path is located on the
Table 1 shows the parameters for the MCC/VM model and the dry side of the p0 q plane, when the yield surface of the MCC model
creep laws (volumetric and deviatoric) used to simulate the beha- is reached, the flow rule of this model induces a slight decrease in
viour of the stabilised soil numerically both without and under the size of the yield surface (softening), consequently the effective
creep conditions. stress path moves to the right in the direction of the curve obtained
experimentally.
5.1. CIU triaxial test The evolution of the excess pore pressure (Du) against axial
strain (eax) obtained numerically is, in qualitative terms, similar
Fig. 5 compares the numerical predictions with the experimen- to the experimental results (Fig. 5c), although, with significant
tal results of the CIU triaxial tests carried out with samples of the numerical discrepancies. The greatest disparities (in terms of
Paulo J. Venda Oliveira et al. / Computers and Geotechnics 91 (2017) 117130 123

2000 5.2. Oedometer creep tests


p'o = 50 kPa
1800
Fig. 6 compares the time evolution of the creep axial strain
1600
(eax,creep) obtained numerically from the experimental oedometer
1400 creep tests, carried out with a stabilised soil under a creep vertical
1200 pressure of 448 kPa for a curing time of 28 and 90 days.
Independently of the curing time, the creep strain rate is ini-
1000
tially almost constant, only increasing slightly after a time of
q (kPa)

800 1000 min. As expected, when the curing time increases from 28
600 CIU test, tc= 28 days to 90 days, the creep axial strain rate decreases due to the higher
CIU test, tc=90 days effectiveness of the cementation bonds. Notwithstanding the low
400
Num. analysis, tc=28 days values of the eax,creep measured, which makes it harder to obtain
200 good numerical predictions, they match the experimental results
Num. analyis, tc=90 days
0 very well, even when the creep strain rate increases. Thus, these
0.0 0.5 1.0 1.5 2.0 2.5 3.0 results show that the constitutive models associated with the
(a) ax (%) two creep laws and incorporating the effect of curing time can be
used for predicting the oedometer creep behaviour for different
curing times.
Yield surface MCC,
2000 tc=90 days
p'o = 50 kPa
5.3. Multi-stage triaxial tests

1600 Fig. 7 compares the experimental and computed results of two


Yield surface MCC, multi-stage triaxial tests, both carried out with samples of sta-
tc=28 days bilised soil isotropically consolidated for p0 0 of 50 kPa. One of the
1200
tests was performed with a sample cured for 28 days and submit-
q (kPa)

ted to a shear stress level (D) during the creep phase of 0.27, while
800 in the other test a sample with a curing time of 90 days was used
CIU test, tc= 28 days and submitted, during the creep phase, to a value of D equal to
CIU test, tc=90 days 0.40.
400
Num. analysis, tc=28 days The computed results of the first undrained stage shows an
Num. analysis, tc=90 days excellent agreement with the stress-strain behaviour (Fig. 7a)
0 obtained experimentally, which proves that the behaviour is,
0 200 400 600 800 approximately, linearly elastic at this stage independently of the
(b) p' (kPa) curing time. After the consolidation/creep stage, the experimental
data show a slight increase in the stiffness which is due to the
250 CIU test, tc=28 days
hardening of the soil as result of the reduction of the void ratio dur-
ing the consolidation and creep phase (i.e., second stage). The
CIU test, tc=90 days numerical predictions are not able to reproduce this slight increase
200
Num. analysis, tc=28 days of stiffness, since constant elastic parameters (evaluated for the
150 first stage) are used (in this case) to simulate the three stages of
Num. analysis, tc=90 days
the multi-stage triaxial tests. As observed in Fig. 5a, the numerical
100 model replicates the increase in strength due to curing time, but is
not able to simulate the loss of strength observed after the peak
u (kPa)

50 strength, due to the destructuration of stabilised soils. In fact, the


ax (%)
MCC model is unable to replicate the degradation of the structure
0 observed in the generality of the stabilised soils.
0.0 0.5 1.0 1.5 2.0 2.5 3.0
-50 p'o = 50 kPa
Time (min)
1 10 100 1000 10000
-100 0.00
(c)
'v,creep = 448 kPa
Fig. 5. Numerical prediction of the CIU tests for a chemically stabilised soil for a
curing time of 28 and 90 days: (a) qeax curves; (b) stress-path curves; (c) Du-eax
Creep axial strain (%)

0.05
curves.

excess pore pressures) between the numerical predictions and the 0.10
experimental results occur fundamentally when the effective Stabilised soil
stress paths are within the yield surface of the MCC model with
a vertical path (Fig. 5b). This behaviour is a consequence of the Oedometer creep test, tc=28 days
0.15
associated flow rule used for the VM model, which does not predict Numerical analysis, tc=28 days
volumetric plastic strains. After the yielding of the MCC model, as Oedometer creep test, tc= 90 days
the effective stress path moves to the right, the excess pore pres- Numerical analysis, tc=90 days
0.20
sure tends to decrease, thus maintaining an approximately con-
stant difference between the values predicted numerically and Fig. 6. Numerical prediction of an oedometer creep test carried out with the
those obtained experimentally. chemically stabilised soil for a curing time of 28 and 90 days.
124 Paulo J. Venda Oliveira et al. / Computers and Geotechnics 91 (2017) 117130

2000 pation of the excess pore pressure generated during the previous
stage. After the yielding, the flow rule of the MCC model induces
1750 a slight contraction of the yield surface, which promotes the lean-
ing of the stress path towards the experimental results, as seen in
1500
Fig. 5b.
1250 The time evolution of the axial strain during the creep stage
(eax-creep), depicted in Fig. 7c, shows an exponential variation of
q (kPa)

1000 the eax,creep with time, which increases with the shear stress level
LAB data, tc= 28 days (D). The results also show a higher axial creep strain rate for a cur-
750
LAB data, tc=90 days ing time of 90 days than for 28 days, which is apparently incoher-
500 ent. However, the higher axial creep rate obtained for tc of 90 days
Num. analysis, tc=28 days
is justified by the higher D (=0.40) used in the test of this sample.
Consolidation and
250 creep phases Num. analysis, tc=90 days The results show good agreement between the numerical and the
experimental results for both curing times; indeed, the numerical
0
results even make it possible to predict the exponential variation
0.0 0.5 1.0 1.5 2.0 2.5 3.0
of the eax,creep with time.
(a) ax(%)
Regarding the results presented in Figs. 57, it can be concluded
Yield surface MCC that the use of the MCC/VM models associated with both creep
2000
tc= 90 days laws (volumetric and deviatoric) and the effect of curing time are
1750 capable of reproducing the behaviour of the stabilised soil in the
long-term, that is, considering the effect of creep and curing time.
1500 Yield surface MCC
tc= 28 days
1250 6. Numerical prediction of the long-term behaviour of a large-
q (kPa)

scale embankment
1000
6.1. General characteristics
750
LAB data, tc = 28 days

500 Num. analysis, tc=28 days Considering a previous research study [19] where the MCC
LAB data, tc= 90 days model associated with creep laws (volumetric and deviatoric)
250
Num. analysis, tc=90 days
was used to replicate the behaviour of the soft soil of Baixo Mon-
Consolidation and
creep phases dego and the good predictions of the curing time behaviour of the
0 stabilised soil with the models/laws presented in the previous sec-
0 100 200 300 400 500 600 700 800
p' (kPa)
tion of this work, these models/laws are now used to analyse the
(b)
long-term behaviour of a large-scale embankment built on soft
soils reinforced with Deep Mixing Columns (DMCs).
0.07 As may be seen in Fig. 8, the soil foundation is composed by
Triaxial creep test, tc= 28 days 7.5 m of soft soil placed under a 0.5 m thick layer of sand. The
0.06 D= 0.40 water table is on the top of the layer of sand, i.e., no water flow
Triaxial creep data, tc=90 days
was considered above the water table. The construction of the
0.05 Num. analysis, tc= 28 days
embankment consists of three sub-layers, each one with a thick-
Num. analysis, tc=90 days ness of 1.0 m applied with a time delay of one day. The DMC-soil
(%)

0.04
D= 0.27 system is simulated by an axisymmetric cylindrical unit cell
ax-creep

0.03 (Fig. 8), consisting of half of one DMC (with a radius of 0.4) metre
and its radius of influence (with 1.0 m).
0.02 The finite elements (FE) mesh used in the axisymmetric analysis
consists of 130 eight-noded isoparametric quadrilateral elements
0.01 and 355 nodal points (Fig. 8). FE with twenty nodal degrees of free-
dom were used below the water table, providing a quadratic inter-
0.00
1.000 10.000 100.000 1000.000 10000.000 polation of displacement and a linear interpolation of pore
(c) Time (min) pressures, making it possible to simulate the consolidation phe-
nomenon. No element joints were used to simulate the interface
Fig. 7. Numerical prediction with the MCC/VM model of a multi-stage triaxial test between the DMC and the soft soil, since this, in general, shows
(with creep stage) carried out with the chemically stabilised material for a curing
great irregularity [4,19]. In terms of the boundary conditions of
time of 28 and 90 days: (a) q-eax curves; (b) stress-path curves; (c) axial strain
during creep phase. the FE mesh, the bottom boundary was restrained from moving
in both directions, both lateral vertical sides were restrained from
moving horizontally, the bottom and top boundaries of the soil
The comparison of the stress paths obtained in the experiments foundation are permeable, while the lateral boundaries are imper-
with the numerical predictions (Fig. 7b) reveals that the peak meable (i.e., no flow of water through these boundaries).
strength is predicted reasonably well by the numerical model. Table 1 shows the parameters of the constitutive models, creep
The main differences are seen for the intermediate stress states, laws and the effect of the curing time of the soft soil and the sta-
since vertical effective stress paths are obtained numerically inside bilised soil, used in the numerical analyses of the embankment.
the yield surface, which is due to the use a linear elastic law, while It is considered that the construction of the embankment only
more flattened stress paths are obtained experimentally. starts after a minimum curing time of 28 days for the DMCs.
The consolidation/creep stage corresponds to a horizontal (the Table 3 presents the initial state, elastic, strength and perme-
deviatoric stress is constant) and long stress path due to the dissi- ability parameters used to characterize the embankment, sand
Paulo J. Venda Oliveira et al. / Computers and Geotechnics 91 (2017) 117130 125

The embankment material (c = 22.0 kN/m3) is characterized by


the Mohr-Coulomb failure criterion (c0 = 10, u0 = 35) associated
with an isotropic linear elastic law, where E varies between 1
and 15 MPa, from the upper to the bottom sub-layer of the
embankment, in order to simulate the greater confinement of the
bottom sub-layers.
Table 4 shows the eight numerical cases carried out in this
work. The first two cases (A and B) analyse the behaviour of the
embankment on the soft soil without DMCs, one without creep
(case A) and the other considering the creep of the soft soil (case
B). The six remaining cases (C to H) simulate the reinforcement
of the soil foundation with DMCs, considering the existence of
creep for both the soft soil and the DMCs (cases D, F and H) or
ignoring the creep phenomenon (Cases C, E and G). Additionally,
the analysis of the repercussions of the effect of the creep phe-
nomenon is performed for the properties of the DMCs evaluated
for 28 days (Cases C and D), 90 days (cases E and F) and considering
the enhancement of the properties of the DMCs with the curing
time, as stated in Section 4.3 (cases G and H).

6.2. Settlement analysis

Fig. 9 depicts the time evolution of the settlement at the top of


the soil foundation for the vertical axis of the unit cell. Indepen-
dently of taking the creep phenomenon into consideration or not,
the results clearly show that the reinforcement of the soft soil with
DMCs has a great impact on the settlement of the embankment,
inducing, for a time of 20 years, a decrease in the settlements from
about 90 cm (without DMCs) to values lower than 15 cm (with
Fig. 8. FEM mesh used in the numerical analyses of the embankment. DMCs).
In relative terms, the results also show that the effect of the
creep phenomenon is more significant when the soil foundation
layer, soft soil and DMCs. An anisotropy of permeability with kh/kv of the embankment is reinforced by DMCs. In fact, comparing cases
of 3 was used for the soft soil in accordance with the range
A and B, where the effect of creep phenomenon on the behaviour of
observed in similar sedimentary soils [55]. Eq. (15) is used to con- the unreinforced (no DMCs) soft soil is studied, the results show
sider the variation of the coefficients of the permeability with the
that taking the creep phenomenon into consideration increases
void ratio [33]: the settlement slightly, from 84.8 to 88.7 cm (i.e. about 5%) for a
ee0
time of 20 years. However, when the soft soil is reinforced with
k k0  10 Ck
15
DMCs, the consideration of creep has a much greater impact on
where e0 is the initial void ratio, k0 the coefficient of permeability the settlements; for instance, for a curing time of 28 days the con-
corresponding to e0, k is the corrected coefficient of permeability sideration of the creep increases the settlement about two times,
relative to the actual void ratio e, and Ck is a constant equal to from 7.4 cm to 14.8 cm (cases C and D).
e0/2 [56]. The results of Fig. 9 also reveal that the inclusion of the effect of
The behaviour of the soft soil inside the yield surface of the MCC the curing time in the numerical calculations (cases G and H) only
model was characterized by an isotropic linear elastic law, defined has a visible impact in the long-term predictions when the creep
by Eq. (16) [59]: phenomenon is considered (case H). Indeed, the increase of the
cementation bonds over time (i.e. the effect of the curing time)
31 e0 1  2t0
E0 p00 16 induces, for a time of 20 years, a slight reduction in the settlement
j from 14.8 cm (case D) to 12.6 cm (case H), i.e. about 15%. Another
where p0 0 is the initial volumetric effective stress. fact observed, is that the numerical results obtained during the

Table 3
Properties of the materials used to predict the behaviour of an embankment (based on [13]).

Material Initial state Elastic parameters Permeability Mohr-Coulomb


parameters
K0 c OCR m0 E0 kv kh/kv c0 /0
(kN/m3) (MPa) (m/s) (kPa) ()
Soft soil 0.4a 15.0 1.0 0.3 c
109 3.0 MCC model
DMCs 0.8b 16.0 0.3 164.7 3  1010 1.0 MCC/VM model
Sand layer 0.4 15.0 0.3 2.0 104 1.0
Embankment 22.0 0.3 1.0/7.5/15.0d 10.0 35.0
a
Evaluated from triaxial test [57].
b
Established from hnberg [58].
Calculated by [59]: E0 31e0 j12t p00 .
0
c

d
Increases from the top to the bottom sub-layer.
126 Paulo J. Venda Oliveira et al. / Computers and Geotechnics 91 (2017) 117130

Table 4
Numerical predictions. Cases analysed.

Case Soft soil DMC


No creep Creep No creep Creep tc (days)
A d
B d
C d d 28
D d d 28
E d d 90
F d d 90
G d d Variablea
H d d Variablea

d Condition used.
a
The properties depend on the tc (28360 days).

0.0
-0.050

-0.1
Case C Case E Case G
-0.2 -0.075
Soil (No creep) - A

Settlement (m)
-0.3 Soil (Creep) - B
Settlement (m)

Soil (No creep), DMC (No creep), tc=28 days - C -0.100


-0.4
Soil (Creep), DMC (Creep), tc=28 days - D
-0.5 Soil (No creep), DMC (No creep), tc=90 days - E
-0.125
Soil (Creep), DMC (Creep), tc=90 days - F
-0.6
Soil (No creep), DMC (No creep), tc=var - G
-0.7 Soil (Creep), DMC (Creep), tc=Var - H -0.150
0.0 2.5 5.0 7.5 10.0 12.5 15.0 17.5 20.0
-0.8 Time (years)

-0.9
0.0 2.5 5.0 7.5 10.0 12.5 15.0 17.5 20.0

Time (years)

Fig. 9. Numerical predictions. Evolution over time of the settlement at the surface of the soil foundation.

first 20 years with the parameters evaluated for a curing time of with the creep stress (Eq. (9)) and the axial creep strain rate, as sta-
90 days (case F) are similar to those obtained when considering ted by Singh-Mitchells law, increases exponentially with the stress
the effect of curing time (case H). Thus, the use of the properties level (Eq. (3)). Furthermore, the consideration of the enhancement
evaluated for 90 days of curing can be used to simulate the long- of the mechanical and creep properties of DMCs over time (i.e.
term behaviour with reasonable accuracy. effect of tc), attenuates the effect of creep slightly.
Independently of the curing time considered, the evolution of
the improvement factor (IF, the ratio between the settlement
obtained with unreinforced soil and the settlement with DMCs) 6.3. Analysis of the stresses
over time (Fig. 10) reveals a significant decrease in the IF when
the creep phenomenon is considered in the analysis. Thus, for tc Fig. 11 illustrates the evolution over time of the vertical
of 28 days the decrease in the IF is about 46%, i.e., from 10.7 (case effective stress for the DMCs, r0 v-DMC, (Fig. 11a) and for the soil,
C) to 5.8 (case D), while taking the effect of the tc into consideration r0 v-soil, (Fig. 11b) respectively, for a depth of 2.5 m. The results
in the calculations has a lower impact on the IF, since a reduction show a huge increase in r0 v-DMC and a significant reduction in
of about 38% is observed, i.e., from 10.9 (case G) to 6.8 (case H). r0 v-soil in the surrounding soil (cases C to H), which confirms the
These results clearly show that the effectiveness of the reinforce- existence of the arching effect. Without the creep phenomenon
ment with DMCs decreases significantly when creep is included (cases C, E and G), the effect of tc in terms of distribution of
in the numerical analysis, although the consideration of the effect stresses, r0 v-DMC and r0 v-soil, is negligible.
of tc attenuates this influence slightly, i.e., the IF increases from 5.8 The results also reveal that taking the creep phenomenon into
(Case D) to 6.8 (Case H). As seen in Fig. 9, these results show that consideration (cases D, F and H), potentiates the impact of the
the use of properties for tc of 90 days (case F) can be used instead arching effect, since a greater increase of the r0 v-DMC is observed.
of the use of the variation of properties with curing time (case H). This behaviour is explained by the greater creep strains of the soft
The previously described behaviour is due to the arching soil in relation to the DMCs, which promotes a higher transference
effect, which is the transference of stresses from the soft soil, a of stresses from the soft soil to the DMCs, therefore r0 v-DMC
more deformable material, to the DMCs, a stiffer material. Thus, increases in relation to the cases without creep (cases C, E and
the increase in the vertical stresses on the DMCs due to the arch- G). Fig. 11a also shows that, with creep, the consideration of the
ing effect [4,19] potentiates the creep strains, since Cae increases enhancement of the properties over time (case H) originates less
Paulo J. Venda Oliveira et al. / Computers and Geotechnics 91 (2017) 117130 127

12
Soil (No creep), DMC (No
creep), tc=28days - C

10 Soil (Creep), DMC

Improvement factor, IF
(Creep), tc=28 days - D

8 Soil (No creep), DMC (No


creep), tc=90 days - E

6 Soil (Creep), DMC


(Creep), tc=90days - F

Soil (No creep), DMC (No


4 creep), tc=Var - G

Soil(Creep), DMC(Creep),
2 tc=Var - H
0.0 2.5 5.0 7.5 10.0 12.5 15.0 17.5 20.0
Time (years)

Fig. 10. Numerical predictions. Evolution over time of the improvement factor.

500 440

430
400
'v-DMC (kPa)

420
z = 2.5 m
'v-DMC (kPa)

410
300 Soil (No creep), DMC (No creep), tc=28 days - C

400
Soil (Creep), DMC (Creep), tc=28days - D

200 Soil (No creep), DMC (No creep), tc=90 days - E 390

Soil (Creep), DSM (Creep), tc=90 days - F


380
0.0 1.0 2.0 3.0 4.0 5.0
100 Soil (No creep), DMC (No creep), tc=Var - G
Time (years)
Soil (Creep), DMC (Creep), tc=Var - H

0
0.0 2.5 5.0 7.5 10.0 12.5 15.0 17.5 20.0
(a) Time (years)

80
z = 2.5 m

16
60
Soil (No creep) - A / Soil (Creep) - B
'v-soil (kPa)

Soil (No creep), DMC (No creep), tc=28 days - C Case C Case E Case G
12
Soil (Creep), DMC (Creep), tc=28days - D
40
'v-Soil (kPa)

Soil (No creep), DMC (No creep), tc=90 days - E

Soil (Creep), DSM (Creep), tc=90 days - F 8


Soil (No creep), DMC (No creep), tc=Var - G
20 Soil (Creep), DMC (Creep), tc=Var - H
4

0 0
0.0 2.5 5.0 7.5 10.0 12.5 15.0 17.5 20.0 0.0 1.0 2.0 3.0 4.0 5.0
Time (years)
(b) Time (years)

Fig. 11. Numerical predictions. Time evolution of the vertical effective stress at 2.5 m depth. (a) DMC; (b) soft soil.
128 Paulo J. Venda Oliveira et al. / Computers and Geotechnics 91 (2017) 117130

r0 v-DMC in the short-term (t < 4 years) than in the cases D (tc = 28 - The MCC/VM model associated with the effect of curing time is
days) and F (tc = 90 days). suitable to predict the stress-strain behaviour until failure of
The evolution of the stress concentration ratio (SCR, the ratio samples of the stabilised soil, for two curing times (28 and
between r0 v-DMC and r0 v-Soil) over time clarifies some aspects of 90 days). However, the model is unable to predict the softening
the behaviour (Fig. 12). Without creep, the SCR is practically not observed after the peak strength.
dependent on the tc considered (cases C, E and G), and stabilises The models/laws used predict the qualitative evolution of the
at a value of about 30. With the consideration of the creep phe- excess pore pressure and the state of stress at the peak strength
nomenon, the SCR is much higher than the values obtained with- reasonably well. However, they are not able to replicate the
out creep and the SCR grows when the mechanical and creep evolution of the stress paths, since vertical stress paths inside
properties of the DMCs are enhanced over time; thus, from case the yield surface of the MCC model are predicted, which are dif-
D to case H, the SCR increases from 45.4 to 54.1 (i.e. about 19%) ferent from those obtained in the CIU triaxial tests.
for a time of 20 years. Another aspect observed in Fig. 12 is the sig- The MCC/VM model associated with the creep laws and the
nificant decrease in the SCR over time when creep is considered, effect of curing time predict axial creep strains similar to those
which is a direct consequence of the increase of settlement on observed in the oedometer creep tests and multi-stage triaxial
the DMCs over time due to creep (Fig. 9), which decreases the tests performed for the two curing times.
arching effect. In fact, the decrease in the SCR over time was The numerical predictions of the multi-stage triaxial tests (with
observed in the field data of an embankment built on soft soils an intermediate creep stage) originate stress paths and stress-
improved with DMCs [28], predicted in numerical analyses strain curves coherent with the theoretical frameworks,
[19,60] and confirmed by physical model tests [20]. Although this although with some discrepancies in relation to the experimen-
behaviour has been attributed to the softening/yielding of DMCs tal results.
[20,28,60], the effect of creep is an alternative justification of this
phenomenon. The models/laws previously tested were used to predict the
long-term behaviour of an embankment built on a soft soil rein-
forced with Deep Mixing Columns (DMCs). In these analyses, the
7. Conclusions
soft soil was modelled by the MCC model associated with two
creep laws (volumetric and deviatoric). The numerical results of
This work studies the ability of the Modified Cam Clay (MCC)
eight analyses, with and without creep, for different curing times,
model associated with the Von Mises (VM) model, with volumetric
were analysed in terms of settlement and vertical effective stres-
and deviatoric creep laws and considering the effect of curing time
ses. Some conclusions can be drawn from the long-term analysis
on the mechanical and creep properties to simulate the long-term
of the embankment built on a soft soil reinforced with DMCs:
behaviour of a chemically stabilised soft soil. The soil was sta-
bilised with 125 kg/m3 of a binder mixture composed by Portland
The consideration of the creep phenomenon for the soft soil and
cement Type I 42.5 R and blast furnace granulated slag with a pro-
DMCs, significantly increases the settlement of the embank-
portion of 75/25.
ment, which leads to a decrease in the improvement factor, that
The relationship between the curing time and the undrained
is, the reinforcement of the soil foundation with DMCs is less
shear strength obtained in UCS tests was approximated by a power
efficient when creep in considered.
function. This function is shown to be suitable to predict the evo-
In relation to the cases without creep, the consideration of this
lution over time of the effective yield stress and the undrained
phenomenon induces higher effective vertical stresses on the
Youngs modulus (with a correction factor of 0.4), while the inverse
DMCs, and consequently a greater stress concentration ratio.
of this function is suitable to predict the creep parameters Ca and A
The results with creep, also show that the stress concentration
over the curing time.
ratio tends to decrease over time, which means that the trans-
The results of the CIU triaxial tests, oedometer creep tests and
ference of the stresses from the soft soil to the DMCs (i.e., the
multi-stage triaxial tests, carried out for curing times of 28 and
arching effect) becomes less important with the elapsed time.
90 days, were used to validate the constitutive model, the creep
The consideration of the effect of curing time on the enhance-
laws and the effect of curing time. Some conclusions can be drawn
ment of the mechanical and creep properties of the DMCs,
from this study:

100
Soil (No creep), DMC (No
creep), tc=28days - C

80 Soil (Creep), DMC


Stress concentration ratio, SCR

(Creep), tc=28 days - D

60 Soil (No creep), DMC (No


creep), tc=90 days - E

40 Soil (Creep), DMC


(Creep), tc=90days - F

Case C Case E Case G Soil (No creep), DMC (No


20 creep), tc=Var - G

Soil(Creep), DMC(Creep),
0 tc=Var - H
0.0 2.5 5.0 7.5 10.0 12.5 15.0 17.5 20.0
Time (years)

Fig. 12. Numerical predictions. Time evolution of the stress concentration ratio at 2.5 m depth.
Paulo J. Venda Oliveira et al. / Computers and Geotechnics 91 (2017) 117130 129

due to pozzolanic reactions, induces a reduction in the settle- [4] Venda Oliveira PJ, Pinheiro JLP, Correia AAS. Numerical analysis of an
embankment built on soft soil reinforced with deep mixing columns:
ment in the long-term, as well as a slight increase in the
parametric study. Comput Geotech 2011;38(4):56676.
improvement factor and the stress concentration ratio. [5] Jamsawang P, Yoobanpot N, Thanasisathit N, Voottipruex P, Jonpradist P.
From a practical point of view, the results with creep also show Three-dimensional numerical analysis of a DCM column-supported highway
that the use of the mechanical and creep properties of the DMCs embankment. Comput Geotech 2016;72:4256.
[6] Poorooshasb HB, Meyerhof GG. Analysis of behaviour of stone columns and
for a curing time of 90 days is similar to considering the varia- lime columns. Comput Geotech 1997;20(1):4770.
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