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The paper contains an overview of the results obtained in a research project exploring
the ability of 3D DEM models to reproduce cone penetration in sands. The sand whose behaviour is
mimicked by the discrete material is Ticino sand, a well known reference material for cone penetration
tests. A large series of numerical experiments in a cylindrical virtual calibration chambers was performed
in materials of medium and high density. Point resistance is shown to fit well with results from previous
physical tests when the various scaling factors affecting the problem are taken into account. The effect of
different boundary conditions on the test results is illustrated. The appearance of friction fatigue in the
shaft resistance is also revealed by the analysis of the numerical results. The micromechanics of cone penetration
is also illustrated, showing that a stationary condition is clearly attained for point/soil contacts and
how particle flow is affected by boundary conditions. From the results presented it can be inferred that 3D DEM simulations offer a feasible alternative to extend and/or partially substitute the more expensive physical calibration tests in the development of CPT based correlations, as well as powerful capabilities to explore the micromechanics of the problem.
CitationButlanska, J.; Arroyo, M.; Gens, A. 3D DEM simulations of CPT in sand. A: International Conference on Site Characterization. "Geotechnical and Geophysical Site Characterization 4 - Proceedings of the 4th International Conference on Site Characterization 4, ISC-4". 2012, p. 817-824.
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