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Peak punch-through capacity of spudcan in sand with interbedded clay: Numerical and analytical modelling
journal contributionposted on 09.02.2018, 00:00 by Shah Neyamat UllahShah Neyamat Ullah, Y Hu
© 2017, Canadian Science Publishing. All rights reserved. The presence of a thin soft clay layer inside a bed of sand may significantly reduce the bearing capacity of the sand layer, imposing a risk of punch-through failure. In this paper, finite element (FE) simulations are reported using a hardening soil (HS) model for sand. The FE model has been verified against centrifuge tests involving loose and dense sand layers overlying clay soil. The effects of sand stiffness, foundation roughness, sand friction angle, undrained clay strength, clay strength nonhomogeneity, and sand and clay layer geometries on the foundation peak capacities have been studied. Punch-through failure is initiated with an inclined sand plug being sheared and pushed into the underlying soft clay. During punch-through, the clay layer fails due to significant radial squeezing. Existing analytical models do not capture the combined failure mechanism of sand shearing and clay radial squeezing. A new analytical model is developed to estimate the peak punch-through capacity of a spudcan in sand with an interbedded clay layer, showing improved performance over the current industry guidelines.