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Plaxis finite element code for soil and rock analyses

Plaxis Bulletin
issue 23 / March 2008

Comparison of computed vs. measured lateral load/deflection response of ACIP piles


Modelling the behaviour of piled raft applying Plaxis 3D Foundation Version 2 Remarks on site response analysis by using Plaxis dynamic module

Colophon

Editorial New Developments

3 4 6

The Plaxis Bulletin is the combined magazine of Plaxis B.V. and the Plaxis Users Association (NL). The Bulletin focuses on the use of the finite element method in geotechnical engineering practise and includes articles on the practical application of the Plaxis programs, case studies and backgrounds on the models implemented in Plaxis. The Bulletin offers a platform where users of Plaxis can share ideas and experiences with each other. The editors welcome submission of papers for the Plaxis Bulletin that fall in any of these categories. The manuscript should preferably be submitted in an electronic format, formatted as plain text without formatting. It should include the title of the paper, the name(s) of the authors and contact information (preferably email) for the corresponding author(s). The main body of the article should be divided into appropriate sections and, if necessary, subsections. If any references are used, they should be listed at the end of the article. The author should ensure that the article is written clearly for ease of reading. In case figures are used in the text, it should be indicated where they should be placed approximately in the text. The figures themselves have to be supplied separately from the text in a common graphics format (e.g. tif, gif, png, jpg, wmf, cdr or eps formats are all acceptable). If bitmaps or scanned figures are used the author should ensure that they have a resolution of at least 300 dpi at the size they will be printed. The use of colour in figures is encouraged, as the Plaxis Bulletin is printed in full-colour. Any correspondence regarding the Plaxis Bulletin can be sent by email to bulletin@plaxis.nl or by regular mail to:

Comparison of computed vs. measured lateral load/deflection response of ACIP piles Modelling the behaviour of piled raft applying Plaxis 3D Foundation Version 2

Plaxis Practice

Plaxis Practice 10

Remarks on site response analysis by using Plaxis dynamic module

Plaxis Practice 14

Plaxis Bulletin
c/o Erwin Beernink PO Box 572 2600 AN Delft The Netherlands The Plaxis Bulletin has a total circulation of 13.000 copies and is distributed worldwide. Editorial Board: Wout Broere Ronald Brinkgreve Erwin Beernink Arny Lengkeek

Recent Activities 19 Activities 2008 20

Editorial

Ronald Brinkgreve

The year 2008 will be a year of many new issues for Plaxis. We started in a new office in Delft to facilitate a further expansion of activities; we employed new staff (Delft, Asia); we appointed new agents (China); we introduced a new service (Special Projects) and last but not least, we are working on new features and will release new products. Some of these issues are described in more details in this Bulletin or will come back in the next Bulletin. In addition to the standard columns, it is a pleasure to notice that more and more Plaxis users are willing to share their modelling experience with other users, and submit interesting articles for the Plaxis Bulletin. This Bulletin contains three articles about the backgrounds and use of Plaxis 2D and 3D products in practical geotechnical applications. The first article shows a comparison between the results of a lateral loading test on cast-in-place piles and a numerical simulation using Plaxis 3D Foundation. The Hardening Soil model with small-strain stiffness was used to model the behaviour of the stiff over-consolidated clay. The results seem to match the test data reasonably well, but the specific behaviour of the piles requires more research and a better modelling of the pile behaviour. The second article is again an application of the 3D Foundation program. It describes how 3D FEM can be used for piled raft foundations. The embedded piles in the Foundation program prove to be very efficient in the modelling of such complex foundations. Nevertheless, there is a need for improved modelling facilities, like horizontal interface elements. The third article describes the results of a research project on the possibilities and limitations of the Dynamic module with respect to seismic site response analysis. The researchers have varied numerical parameters to evaluate their influence on the results. They propose a procedure to calibrate the numerical model and conclude that the standard settings in Plaxis do not always give the best results. In all of the articles, the authors give suggestions on how Plaxis could be improved to model various geotechnical applications in a better way. We are very thankful to the authors for these suggestions and will consider them seriously as a part of future Plaxis developments. We wish you an interesting reading experience and look forward to receive new articles for future Bulletins.

The Editors

New Developments

New Developments
Ronald Brinkgreve

The finite element method is well established in the current geotechnical engineering practice. Although most calculations are still 2D, there is a tendency to model complicated situations in more detail using 3D models. Since the new millennium, Plaxis offers 3D models that are relatively easy to create. After the success of the 3D Tunnel program for simplified 3D situations, the recent 3D Foundation program version 2 allows for a realistic modelling of complicated foundation and excavation projects, including multiple piles or ground anchors. Since the introduction of this version halfway 2007, more than 500 licences are being used. For the general modelling of geotechnical applications, Plaxis will offer two independent solutions with full geometrical flexibility, depending on the users preference: 1. A new-generation geotechnical-oriented input program based on familiar concepts from 3D Foundation, with arbitrary volume object creation and import facilities, available from mid 2009 for advanced to expert users. 2. A general CAD-like input program, available from mid 2008 for top users with 3D CAD experience. Both programs enable the creation of arbitrary 3D finite element models composed of 10-node (quadratic) tetrahedron elements, which are calculated with the Plaxis 3D calculation kernel. In both programs the existing Plaxis soil models are available. The difference is in the modelling approach, either geotechnical-oriented or CAD-like.

The decision to develop this two-leg strategy is based on different work flows in different companies or different projects: in most companies or projects the geotechnical engineer has to create a finite element model him/herself based on 1D or 2D (geotechnical) information whereas in some companies or projects a 3D model is created by CAD experts before a geotechnical finite element analysis is considered. The latter group can soon be served. The former group has to wait another year before a dedicated product is available, but in the remainder of this article I will already elaborate some of its details. The creation of a geotechnical 3D model starts with the composition of the sub-soil. For this, the borehole feature of the Foundation program may be used. Soil layer boundaries may be imported as triangulated surfaces and assigned to the soil layer boundary in the borehole. In addition to the sub-soil, structures and loads are defined independent from the sub-soil. Arbitrary excavation volumes or other volumes may be created using the excavation designer, or by importing 3D objects from CAD packages. Structures and loads may be defined in a similar way as in the Foundation program, but with more flexibility in vertical direction. During the modelling phase the user is confronted with a 3D view of the model in which he can directly select the visible objects. Alternatively, all objects appear in a tree view, which can also be used to create objects or assign properties. Programs like Google Sketch up have shown that 3D drawing can be almost as easy as 2D drawing. The new Plaxis program includes similar 3D drawing facilities and allows import of such models.

New Developments

When proceeding to the definition of calculation phases, all objects are crossed with each other using a CSG (Constructive Solid Geometry) algorithm and divided into sub-volumes and sub-structures. Different construction stages may be defined in which (sub-)volumes, (sub-)structures and loads can be activated or de-activated. The 3D meshing, including global and local refinement, is considered just before the start of the calculation. Since all calculation settings are based on geometric objects, it is not necessary to redefine calculation phases after mesh regeneration. Even minor geometric changes can be made without the need to redefine the calculation phases. This stimulates improved modelling and meshing after promising preliminary results have been obtained. Calculations are performed with the existing Plaxis 3D calculation kernel. To allow for unstructured 3D meshes, 10-node tetrahedron elements have been implemented. Moreover, a 64-bit version of the calculation kernel will be available to enable hundreds of thousands elements. Also the general Output program (post-processor), as available with 3D Foundation, has been extended with 10-node tetrahedrons and all existing output facilities have been adapted for this type of element. A beta version of the new 3D program is expected by the end of 2008. Users interested in beta-testing of this program, may contact Plaxis bv. We will keep you informed about the progress of development. Meanwhile, for those who are interested in CAD-like 3D modelling, we can soon provide general modelling facilities to address the reliable Plaxis 3D calculation kernel.

Plaxis Practice

Comparison of computed vs. measured lateral load/deflection response of ACIP piles


K.E. Tand, P.E., Principal Engineer, Kenneth E. Tand & Associates C. Vipulanandan, Ph.D., P.E., Chairman of the U of H Civil Engineering Dept.

Introduction
Five auger cast-in-place piles (ACIP) were installed at the National Geotechnical Experimentation Site located at the University of Houston campus in Houston, Texas in December 1996. Lateral load tests were performed on four of the piles in January 1997. The purpose of these tests was to evaluate the feasibility for design and construction of ACIP piles to support concrete screen walls subjected to large wind forces along highways in urban areas.

Subsoil Profile
The site is located on a Pleistocene age deltaic deposit known locally as the Beaumont formation. The Beaumont formation is about 8 meters deep at the test site, and it is underlain by an older geologic formation known as the Montgomery formation. The subsoils in both formations are primarily clay with occasional interbedded seams and layers of sand and silt. The consistency of the clays is generally stiff to very stiff, and they have been overconsolidated due to desiccation.

Photo 1: Load Testing a 0.91 m Diameter ACIP Pile The first major silt/sand stratum occurs at a depth of 14 m (47 ft) which is below the depth of influence of the test piles. The water level was at a depth of about 2 m (6.5 ft) below grade at the time of the load tests. After deposition, vertical fissures were formed due to shrinkage caused by drying, and the cracks at the surface were probably more than 5 cm (2 in) wide visually estimated from presently occurring wet/dry cycles. Soil from the surface was washed down into these cracks during periods of heavy rain. The soft sediments in the cracks were then compressed when the clays swelled leaving locked-in horizontal stress. This process was repeated throughout Pleistocene to Modern geologic times, and KO values of 3.0 and greater have been measured in the upper 4 m (13 ft) at this site. The process of desiccation and subsequent rewetting caused cyclic shearing displacements in the clay mass that produced polished failure planes referred to as slickensides. The slickensides are widely variable in size and orientation. The clays are spatially inhomogeneous, and exhibit some anisotropic properties due to their stress history. The joints and horizontal locked-in stress affect the strength, deformation, and permeability properties of the clays. The soil parameters have been extensively studied at this site and they are summarized in Fig. 1. A more detailed summary of the database can be found on the web site at www.unh.edu/nges. The laboratory and in situ tests in the database indicate a wide range in the strength/deformation properties of the clays due to the effects of secondary structure, loading stress path, and possible sample disturbance.

Fig 1: Generalized Subsoil Profile

Fig 2: Pile Load Test Layout

Plaxis Practice

Test Piles and Instrumentation


The pile load test arrangement is shown on Fig. 2. The N pile was 0.91 m (36 in) in diameter and 10.7 m (35 ft) long, and the W pile was 0.46 m (18 in) in diameter and 10.7 m (35 ft) long. The S pile was 0.91 m (36 in) in diameter and 6.1 m (20 ft) long, and the E pile was 0.46 m (18 in) in diameter and 6.1 m (20 ft) long. The piles were installed using a continuous hollow stem flight auger rotated into the ground at a rate of 400 to 1,200 mm/min (16 to 47 in/min). Immediately after reaching the design depth, the augers were slowly withdrawn while pumping high strength grout into the pile. Grouting was monitored using a pile integrity recorder, and the ratio of the pumped versus theoretical grout volume ranged from 1 to more than 2 (average of 1.3). The soil was stiff to very stiff clay, and most (if not all) of the grout in excess of the pile volume was lost at the surface when removing the spoils. The grout mix was comprised of Portland cement, fly ash, sand, water and a fluidizer. The compressive strength of the field mix was 38 MPa (5,500 psi), and the tensile strength was 2.0 MPa (280 psi) at 28 days. Immediately after cleaning the top of the pile heads with a screen, a full length rebar cage was inserted into the piles. The rebar cages for the 0.46 m diameter piles were comprised of six number 6 vertical rebars with number 3 ties spaced at 15 cm (6 in) centers. The cages for the 0.91 m diameter piles were comprised of eight number 10 vertical rebars with number 4 ties spaced at 23 cm (9 in) centers. As shown on Photo 1, two ABS tubes were installed in each pile. They were used for sonic logging to check the integrity of the piles prior to the load tests. Based on results of the sonic tests, the piles were found to be free of defects such as voids or cracks. One of the ABS tubes in each pile was later used as a guide to run an inclinometer instrument down the piles during the lateral load tests to measure the rotation during loading.

Pile Load Tests


The piles were load tested 28 days after installation. The lateral load was applied at about 15 cm (6 in) above the ground level so that only a very small bending moment was induced into the pile head during loading. The load was applied using a hydraulic jack, and it was measured using an electronic load cell. As shown on Photo 1, the jack and load cells were housed inside a steel pipe strut. Lateral deflections at the pile head were measured using an electronic measuring gauge mounted on the back side of the piles with the tip set to a wooden reference beam. The below grade deformations were measured using an electronic inclinometer. The E & W piles (0.46 m diameter) were loaded in 4 increments to about 55 kN (12 kips), and each load was held for a period of 15 minutes. The piles were then unloaded back to 0, and the load was cycled 4 times to simulate wind loading. After cycling, they were loaded in increments to about 95 kN (21 kips), and then again cycled 4 times. The piles were finally loaded in increments until the deflections exceeded 90 mm (3.5 in). The N & S piles (0.91 m diameter) were loaded in 4 increments to about 172 kN (39 kips), and each load was held for a period of 15 minutes. The piles were cycled as described above, and then they were loaded to about 300 kN (68 kips) and cycled 4 times again. The piles were finally loaded in increments to a deflection of 25 mm (1 in). The load/deflection relationships are shown graphically in Figs. 3 & 4. During the initial cycling, the deflections were so small that they are not shown on the graphs for clarity. Note that non-linear pile deflections started to occur at about 60 kN (14 kips) for the E & W piles, and at about 200 kN (45 kips) for the N & S piles. The initial load/deflection response of the N pile was slightly stiffer than the shorter S pile. However, the initial load/deflection response of the W pile was softer than the E pile even though it had 4.6 m (15 ft) more embedment. The authors speculate that subsoil variations were present even though these piles were only 4 m (13 ft) apart. Perhaps, the slickensides and fissures in the clay were orientated in an unfavorable pattern in front of the W pile. However, there could have been an undetected defect in this pile. The inclinometer readings indicated that a plastic hinge formed at a depth of about 2.1 m (7 ft) in both the E & W piles, even though the W pile had 4.6 m (15 ft) more embedment. The plastic hinge formed at a depth of about 4.5 m (15 ft) in the larger diameter S pile. The inclinometer tube in the N pile was plugged during grouting, and thus data was not available for this pile. However, the load/deflection response was so similar for the N&S piles that it is assumed that the hinge occurred at the same depth.

Fig 3: Lateral load-deflection curves for E & W Piles

Fig 4: Lateral load-deflection curves for S & N Piles

Plaxis Practice

Comparison of computed vs. measured lateral load/deflection response of ACIP piles


Continuation

FE Analysis
The numerical model employed in the FE analysis for the S pile (typical for all piles) is shown in Fig. 5. The calculations were performed using PLAXIS 3D Foundations V.2 with about 2,000 elements. The small strain hardening soil model was used to model the stiff to very stiff clay. - Effective stress parameters for the stiff to very stiff clays were used as input, but the analysis was performed using the undrained mode to simulate the rapid rate of loading. - Initially, soil parameters were selected from Tand and ONeills article published in the PLAXIS Bulletin 14 (Sept. 2003). Parametric studies were then performed until good agreement was obtained with the field load/deflection response of the piles. The final soil parameters were in good agreement with the prior parameters, but not exact, because there were variations in the subsoil stratigraphy and the stress path was different for the horizontally loaded piles than the vertically loaded underreamed piers. The soil parameters used in the final FE analysis are summarized in Fig. 6. - The initial cycle of loading at small loads was not modeled due to the small elastic deflections that were measured. - The second cycle of loading was modeled to check the hysteresis cycles. However, only 2 load/unload cycles were computed due to the fact that the load/deflection curves were almost linearly elastic. - After the cycling, the pile was loaded to the last measured field load.
Gref !'
(deg)

Fig 5: Typical FE Mesh The authors speculate that the stiffness of the piles affected the load/deflection response as much as the strength and stiffness of the clay subsoils. To study its influence, the piles were modeled as circular piles with a steel shell. A wall element with the equivalent EI of the rebar was input to model the stiffness of the rebar. A mass concrete pile is most often modeled using linear elastic properties of the pile materials. However, the stiffness will be overestimated if tensile strains are large enough to crack the concrete. The cracks reduce the moment of inertia, and this is a continuing process as increasing deflections cause the cracks to propagate. The moment of inertia must be adjusted to reflect the correct state of stress in the pile whether conventional methods of analysis such as Broms procedure or numerical methods such as finite element or beam-on-elastic foundation procedures are used. One objective of this study is to evaluate whether the pile materials can be modeled so that the moment of inertia is numerically adjusted during the FE calculations. The laboratory compression tests that had been performed on the grout cylinders were modeled using PLAXIS 2D Version 8, and the following parameters for the Mohr-Columb model were back calculated in our analysis by best fitting the stress-strain data:

Subsoil Stiff clay Stiff to very stiff clay Very stiff clayey sand Very stiff clay Very stiff sandy clay

c' kPa (ksf) 19.1 (0.4) 19.1 (0.4) 28.7 (0.6) 28.7 (0.6) 28.7 (0.6)

Eref
50

Eref
oed

!
(deg)

Eref
ur

mPa
(ksf)

mPa
(ksf)

mPa
(ksf)

m mPa
(ksf)

vur 15 15 15 15 15

If 6 6 6 6 6

20 20 30 20 30

1 1 2 1 2

48 (1000) 96 (2000) 144 (3000) 192 (4000) 240 (5000)

9.6 (200) 12.0 (250) 16.8 (350) 14.4 (300) 16.8 (350)

7.2 (150) 9.6 (200) 14.4 (300) 12.0 (250) 14.4 (300)

27.5 (575) 34.5 (720) 69.0 (1440) 41.4 (865) 47.9 (1000)

8 8 8 8 8

Fig 6: Optimized Soil Parameters

Youngs Modulus 2.5 x 107 MPa (5.2 x 105 ksf)

Cohesion 7.2 MPa (150 ksf)

40 -

Tension 1.9 MPa (40 ksf)

The following basic procedures were used during the FE analysis: - The initial KO conditions were generated using a 0.3 m (1 ft) thick dummy soil layer with a unit weight of 943 kN/m3 (6,000 pcf) in the initial phase. Thus, the gravity loading induced a preconsolidation pressure of 216 kP (6,000 psf). This layer was then turned off for the subsequent calculations. The FE computed KO was 2.9 at 1.2 m (4 ft), and 2.6 at 3.6 m (12 ft). These values correlate reasonably well with those reported in the U of H database.

Fig 7: Comparison of Load/Deflection Curves for S Pile

Plaxis Practice

Results
A graph of the field and FE computed load/deflection relationships for the S pile is shown in Fig. 7. The N pile was omitted for clarity because both the curves for the field loading and FE simulation plotted on top of each other. The FE computed load/deflection response of the pile without the shell is shown for comparison purposes. Also, the load/deflection response computed assuming linear-elastic parameters for the grout are shown. A graph of the field and FE computed load/deflection curve for the E pile is shown in Fig. 8. As previously discussed, the W pile appeared to be an anomaly and is not shown. There were either subsoil variations in front of this pile, or there was an undetected defect in the pile. exceeded the tension cut off stress. These observations highlight the advantages of using a proper constitutive model for the grout so that the effective moment of inertia is automatically reduced during FE loading. The good correlations are due to parameter studies, not simply selecting the correct input data for the initial computation. FE cannot be expected to model the load/deflection response within 25 percent on a common basis because the stress/strain behavior of soil is very complex, and the uncertainty of selecting appropriate strength/deformation properties of the soil when there is considerable data scatter. Also, the strength/deformation properties of the pile materials must be properly accessed. It is possible that there might be other combinations of soil and pile properties that could result in correlations as well as those determined in this study.

Conclusions
The FE computed load/deflection response of the ACIP piles bearing in stiff to very stiff clay correlated well with results of the full scale lateral load tests. The small strain hardening soil model in PLAXIS 3D Foundations can be used in predicting the lateral load/ deflection response of piles. However, additional research needs to be performed to better model ACIP piles with internal reinforcing steel if deflections are large enough to cause tension cracks in the grout.

References:
Fig 8: Comparison of Load/Deflection Curves for E Pile A graph of the field measured and FE computed horizontal displacements with depth for the S & E piles is shown in Fig. 9. Note that FE predicts that a plastic hinge formed at about the same depth as measured in the field loading tests. The initial FE computed load/deflection response of the piles using the optimized parameters is in excellent agreement with the loading tests. However, FE under predicts the deflections at the high loads. The authors speculate that the piles as modeled in the FE analysis are stiffer than the field piles. The tension stress of the grout had been input so that the grout would crack and reduce the moment of inertia of the pile during the FE loading phases. However, the fact that the steel shell modeled in the FE analysis is located at the perimeter of the piles probably restricted the tension cracks that would be expected form between the rebar and outer edge of the field piles. Also, PLAXIS has published a notice that the interface elements for round piles have corners in the FE geometry that makes the interface behavior stiffer than would occur under field conditions (see Plaxis website). The FE computed load/deflection response of the ACIP piles without the steel shell was somewhat softer than for the field piles. This occurs because of the reduced moment of inertia resulting from neglecting the rebar, and the fact that more deflections occur during loading increasing the tensile strains. The FE computed load/deflection response of the ACIP piles assuming linear elastic properties for the grout was considerably stiffer than for the field piles. This occurs because the effective moment of inertia was not being reduced when the mobilized tensile stresses - K.M. Hassan, M.W. ONeill, and C. Vipulanandan, Specifications and Design Criteria for the Construction of Continuous Flight Auger Piles in the Houston Area, FHA report UH 3921-1, 1998. - L.J. Mahar and M.W. ONeill, Geotechnical Characterization of Desiccated Clay, Journal of Geotechnical Engineering, ASCE, January, 1983, pp. 56-71. - M.W. ONeill, National Geotechnical Experimentation Site University of Houston, Geotechnical Special Publication No. 93, 2000, pp. 72-101.

Fig 9: Delecftions with Depth

Plaxis Practice

Modelling the behaviour of piled raft applying Plaxis 3D Foundation Version 2


Yasser El-Mossallamy, Associate Prof., Ain Shams University, Cairo, Egypt c/o ARCADIS GmbH, Berliner Allee 6, D - 64295 Darmstadt, Germany y.el-mossallamy@arcadis.de

Introduction
The quick growth of cities in the last two decades all over the world led to a rapid increase in the number and height of high rise buildings even in unfavourable subground conditions. Since the 80's, a new foundation technique, the so-called piled rafts, has been developed and used extensively in order to reduce the maximum as well as the differential settlements and the associated tilting of the buildings. The analysis of piled raft is a very interesting example of the soil-structure interaction that requires the co-operation between the geotechnical and structural engineers to reach the most economic foundation system. Enhanced numerical analyses play a decisive role for the analyses of such complex foundation system. The piled raft foundation has shown its validity as a very economic geotechnical foundation type, where the structural loads are carried partly by the piles and partly by the raft contact stresses. This foundation system was successfully applied in stiff as well as soft subsoil. An innovative application of the piled raft is its special adjustment to cases of foundations with large load eccentricities or very different loaded parts of buildings to avoid the need of complex settlement joints especially below ground water table.

Figure 2: Settlement behavior of high-rise buildings in Frankfurt, Germany Calculation procedures to model the behavior of such complex three-dimensional problems have been developed since the 1970s (e.g., by Butterfield and Banerjee 1971, Poulos and Davis 1980 and Randolph 1993). But some important requirements concerning the raft stiffness, the nonlinear behavior of the pile support and the slip developing along the pile shafts even under working loads were not sufficiently considered in these analyses. For these reasons improved numerical models based on three dimensional finite element method are applied taking into account all above mentioned effects (El-Mossallamy 1996). A traditional 3D finite element technique with the appropriate soil constitutive laws presents a powerful tool to model this complex soil-structure interaction problem. Nevertheless, the main disadvantage applying the 3D FE analyses is the need of a huge number of volume elements which can exceed the available computer capacities. To cover this problem, a new technique combined the so called embedded pile model with the 3D finite element model was developed by Plaxis B.V. under the name Plaxis 3D Foundation version 2. The following sections present an example demonstrating the ability of this program to deal with a complex piled rafts. A case history in Frankfurt will be resolved applying this program.

Figure 1: Principles of piled raft The piled raft is a composite geotechnical foundation system consisting of piles, raft and soil. Figure 1 demonstrates the principles of piled raft foundation and the different interactions (e.g. pile/pile and pile/raft) that govern its behavior. Extensive measurements of the load transfer mechanism of piled raft foundations during and after the construction were performed to verify the design concept and to prove the serviceability requirements. The piled raft foundation is extensively applied as suitable foundation technique of high-rise buildings in Frankfurt, Germany to achieve economic solutions that fulfill the stability as well as the serviceability requirements. The measured settlements of different case histories of piled rafts in comparison with traditional raft as well piled foundation are shown in Figure 2. The factor L is a load factor representing the load taken by the piles relative to the total structural load.

10

Plaxis Practice

Foundation and subsoil conditions


General information Height (m) 114 Foundation area (m!) 1930 Raft thickness (m) 3.5 - 1.0 Foundation depth (m) -15.75 Groundwater - 6.0 Slenderness ratio 3.5 No of piles 25 Pile length (m) 22 Pile diameter (m) 1.3

General information Height (m) Foundation area (m2) Raft thickness (m) Foundation depth (m) Groundwater Slenderness ratio No of piles Pile length (m) Pile diameter (m)

114 1930 3.5 - 1.0 -15.75 - 6.0 3.5 25 22 1.3

Figure 3: General layout

Frankfurt subground and methodology to develop the piled raft


Most of the high-rise buildings in Frankfurt are founded on the so-called Frankfurter clay, which developed 2 to 10 million years ago as a result of the sedimentation in the Tertiary sea in the Mainz basin. In the town center, the clay layer measures up to 100 meters and includes limestone banks, lignite coal lenses and layers of calcareous sand. The groundwater level is mostly just above the clay surface and circulates in the fissured limestone banks and sand lenses resulting in different confined aquifer pressures. The clay is geologically overconsolidated through older, already eroded sediments and volcanic rock.

Geometry
The foundation of the building has a total area of about 1930 m. Only 25 large diameter bored piles were constructed beneath the raft as a piled raft foundation. The pile arrangements are shown in Figure 4. The rafts are 3.5 meters thick in the middle and 1.0 m at the edges. The raft base lies at a depth of 15.75 meters below the soil surface. The piles where designed with a diameter of 1.3 m and a length of 22 m. The total working loads reach about 900 MN.

Example of a high-Rise Building on Frankfurt subsoil


The 120 m building with a 4-storey underground basement has an L shape (Fig. 3) with a load eccentricity of about 7.0 m. Applying the concept of piled raft foundation it was possible to construct the foundation without settlement joints between the tower and the adjacent 4-storey underground garage. The piles were placed eccentrically below the tower to balance the load eccentricity.

Figure 4: Foundation dimensions and pile arrangement

11

Plaxis Practice

Modelling the behaviour of piled raft applying Plaxis 3D Foundation Version 2


Yasser El-Mossallamy, Associate Prof., Ain Shams University, Cairo, Egypt c/o ARCADIS GmbH, Berliner Allee 6, D - 64295 Darmstadt, Germany y.el-mossallamy@arcadis.de

Figure 5: 3D FE-Model

Figure 6: Applied loads

Figure 7: Foundation settlement under working loads

Numerical model
Soil Parameters The soil stress-strain relationship was modelled applying the Hardening soil model. The main advantage of this constitutive law is its ability to consider the stress path and its effect on the soil stiffness and its behavior. For the concrete piles and raft, a linear elastic material set was applied using the concrete weight and its stiffness. The ultimate skin friction of the pile is assumed to start with 60 kPa at the pile head and increased with depth to reach 120 kPa at the pile tip. The ultimate pile base resistance was taken equal to 2.0 MPa. 3D Finite element model Work-planes are defined. The Work-planes are needed at each level where a discontinuity in the geometry or the loading occurs in the initial situation or in the construction process. Figure 5 shows the applied three dimensional finite element mesh. The main model geometries are given in figure 6. Inspect output The initial conditions should be generated using the K0-procedure. A value of K0 = 0.8 is applied to consider the effect of overconsolidation. The aim of the calculation is to determine the average settlement of the rafts under working load (serviceability limit state). Figure 7 demonstrates the raft settlements under working loads. Settlement of about 4 cm is calculated at the raft center. This value agrees well with the measured value and approves the ability of the three dimensional analyses to predict the settlement of the piled raft as a main part of the foundation design. Figure 8 shows the load distribution among the individual piles within the pile group. It can be recognized that the contribution of the edge piles by carrying the loads is very small. This is due to the presence of the outer wall that works also as shoring system, which is modelled as fully connected with the foundation raft. The effect of the outer walls can be investigated by applying a new model in which the outer walls are not modelled.

12

Plaxis Practice

Conclusion and Outlook


The illustrated examples show that understanding of the effects of the interaction between construction and subsoil based on the appropriate theoretical knowledge and on experienced application of measurement techniques and numerical modelling are the necessary qualification for a safe and economic design for such complex foundations. The piled raft foundation can be modelled using the embedded piles that are available in Plaxis 3D foundation. The results should be further compared with cases where the piles are modelled using volume elements. There is still need of horizontal interface elements to investigate the raft contact stresses in a direct manner. The embedded piles help to reduce the required number of elements needed to model the complex three dimensional feature of piled rafts. The experience with this model type should be gathered with time and shared among the Plaxis users. The effect of the shoring system on the behavior of piled raft needs further investigation.

Some related references


-  Burland, J.B., Broms, B.B., and de Mello, V. (1977) Behaviour of foundations and structures, State-of-the- art report, Proc. 9th ICSMFE Tokyo, vol. 2, 495 - 546 -  Butterfield, R., and Banerjee, P.K. (1971) "The problem of pile group-pile cap interaction." Gotechnique, Vol. 21, No. 2, pp. 135-142. - DIN 1054-100 (2005) Baugrund: Sicherheitsnachweis im Erd- und Grundbau - Drrwang, R., El-Mossallamy, Y. und Reininger-Behrenroth, M.(2007) Neue Erkenntnisse zum Verformungsverhalten des Frankfurter Tones, Bautechnik, Vol.3, 190-192 - El-Mossallamy, Y. (1996) Ein Berechnungsmodell zum Tragverhalten der kombinierten Pfahl-Plattengrndung., Dissertation, Fachbereich Bauingenieur-wesen der Technischen Hochschule Darmstadt - El-Mossallamy, Y., Lutz, B., and Richter, Th. (2006) Innovative application and design of piled raft foundation. 10th International Conference on Piling and Deep Foundations, (31 May - 2 June 2006), Amsterdam, Netherlands - El-Mossalamy, Y., El-Nahhas, F. and Essawy, A. (2006) Innovative Use of Piled Raft Foundation to Optimize the Design of High-Rise Buildings. 10th Arab Structural Engineering Conference, 13-15 November 2006, Kuwait Outer piles - El-Mossallamy, Y (2007) Piled raft foundation in Frankfurt clay. Validation manual, Plaxis 3D Foundation, Version 2 - Franke, E.; El-Mossallamy, Y.; and Wittmann, P.(2000) Calculation methods for raft foundations in Germany. Design applications of raft foundation and ground slabs, Edited by Hemsley, Published by Thomas Telford Ltd, London, 2000, p.p.283-322 -  Hanisch, J., Katzenbach, R., und Knig, G. 2002. Kombinierte Pfahl-Plattengrndung, In Zusammenarbeit mit dem Arbeitskreis Pfhle der Deutschen Gesellschaft fr Geotechnik e.V. (DGGT), Ernst & Sohn. -  Poulos, H.G., and Davis, E.H. (1980) Pile Foundation Analysis and Design. Wiley, New York. Middle piles - Randolph, M.F. and Clancy, P. (1993) Efficient design of piled rafts. Proc. 2nd Int. Seminar, Deep foundation, Ghent, 119-130.

Figure 8: Results of normal force distribution along all piles

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Plaxis Practice

Remarks on site response analysis by using Plaxis dynamic module


Ciro VISONE, Ph.D. student, Department of Geotechnical Engineering, University of Naples Federico II, Naples, Italy, ciro.visone@unina.it Emilio BILOTTA, Research Assistant, Department of Geotechnical Engineering, University of Naples Federico II, Naples, Italy, bilotta@unina.it Filippo SANTUCCI de MAGISTRIS, Lecturer, Department S.A.V.A. Engineering & Environment Division, University of Molise, Campobasso, Italy, filippo.santucci@unimol.it

Introduction
Dynamic FE analyses can be considered the most complete available instrument for the prediction of the seismic response of a geotechnical system, since they can give detailed indication of both the soil stress distribution and deformation. However, they require at least a proper soil constitutive model, an adequate soil characterization by means of in situ and laboratory tests, a proper definition of the seismic input. This article discusses how to calibrate a finite element model in order to obtain a realistic response of the given system subjected to seismic loading. Plaxis 2D v.8.2 (Brinkgreve, 2002) that includes the dynamic module was used in this research. A series of dynamic analyses of vertical propagation of S-waves in a homogeneous elastic layer was carried out. This scheme was chosen because a theoretical solution of the problem is available in literature and some comparisons can be easily done. The influences on the response of boundaries conditions, mesh dimensions, input signal filtering and damping parameters was investigated. The information obtained in this preliminary calibration process can be used thereafter for the analysis of any geotechnical system subjected to seismic loadings.

Figure 1. Amplification function of an elastic layer over rigid bedrock

PHYSICAL PROPERTIES ! [kN/m3] 141 RAYLEIGH DAMPING ! " E [kN/m2] 4.889x105 3 "

STIFFNESS PARAMETERS G [kN/m2] 1.88x105 Eoed [kN/m2] 6.581x105 VS [m/s] 3615 VP [m/s] 6763

Table 1. Material properties of the Linear Elastic layer

Reference theoretical solution


Vertical one-dimensional propagation of shear waves in a visco-elastic homogeneous layer that lies on rigid bedrock can be described in the frequency domain by its amplification function. The latter is defined as the modulus of the transfer function that is the ratio of the Fourier spectrum of the free surface motion to the corresponding component of the bedrock motion. Therefore, for a given visco-elastic stratum and a given seismic motion acting at the rigid bedrock the motion at the free surface can be easily obtained. First, the Fourier spectrum of the input signal is computed. Then, this function is multiplied by the amplification function and after that the motion is given by the inverse Fourier transform of the previous product. If the properties of the medium (density, or total unit weight of soil, ; shear wave velocity, VS; material damping, D) and its geometry (layer thickness, H) are known, the amplification function is uniquely defined. For a soil layer on rigid bedrock with the following parameters: H =16 m; = 14.1 kN/m3; = 1.44 kg/m3; VS = 361.5 m/s; D = 2 % the amplification function (Roesset, 1970) is:

A(f)=

1 H HD cos 2 f + 2 f Vs Vs
2 2

Figure 2. Seismic input: a) accelerations time-history; b) Fourier spectrum

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Plaxis Practice

Figure 1 shows its graphical representation in the amplification ratio-frequency plane. Here, and in the following similar figures, two vertical red lines indicate the first and the second natural frequency of the system. In the previous indicated hypotheses, the nth natural frequencies fn of the layer are:

Numerical modeling
3.1 Input signal In numerical computation, the earthquake loading was often imposed as an acceleration time-history at the base of the model. Here, the input signal chosen for numerical analyses is the accelerometer registration of Tolmezzo Station (Friuli Earthquake, Italy, May 6th, 1976). The sampling frequency is 200 Hz, the duration is 36.39 s and the peak acceleration is 0.315 g. Accelerations time-history and Fourier Spectrum of the signal are reported in Figure 2. 3.2 Finite element model The finite element model is plotted in Figure 3. It is constituted by a rectangular domain 80 m wide and 16 m high and two additional similar lateral domains, in order to place far enough the lateral boundaries (total width 240 m). This should help minimizing the influence of the boundaries on the obtained results, even though no clear indications exist in literature on this aspect. Recently, Amorosi et al. (2007) have shown a case of site response analysis in which they have extended the width of the mesh eight times its height, in order to obtain acceptable results. The medium is schematized as a Linear Elastic layer that is implemented in the Plaxis code. Its parameters are indicated in Table 1. The initial stress generation was obtained by the k0-procedure in which the value of the earth pressure at rest, k0 was chosen by means of the well-known formula for the elastic medium:

The mesh generation in Plaxis is fully automatic and based on a robust triangulation procedure, which results in an unstructured mesh. In the meshes used in the present analyses, the basic type of element is the 15-node triangular element. The dimensions of any triangle can be controlled by local element size. By subdividing the homogeneous layer in sub-layers with a fixed thickness and by using the local element size, it is possible to assign to the triangles a maximum size. An average dimension that is representative for refinement degree of the mesh is the Average Element Size (AES) that represents an average length of the side of the elements employed. Every time a numerical analysis is performed, the mesh influence must be tested. Kuhlmeyer & Lysmer (1973) suggested to assume a size of element not larger than /8, where is the wavelength corresponding to the maximum frequency f of interest. In this case /8 = VS/8 f = 1.81 m, being VS= 361.5 m/s and f = 25 Hz. In the analyses of the present work an AES=1.58 m was used.

Results of dynamic analyses


Christian et al. (1977) have shown that the right lateral boundaries conditions for Swaves polarized in horizontal plane and propagating vertically are the vertical fixities. Horizontal displacements must be allowed. In order to equilibrate the horizontal litho static stresses acting on lateral boundaries, it is suitable to introduce load distributions at the left-hand and right-hand vertical boundaries. In this manner, the amplification function of all points placed on the free surface of the model is the same. Figure 4 plots the graphical lateral boundaries condition utilized in Plaxis. The use of such boundary conditions instead of adopting lateral dampers as suggested by Kuhlmeyer & Lysmer (1973) permits to calibrate the damping parameters of the system with more accuracy. In numerical calculations two types of damping exist: numerical damping, due to finite element formulation, and material damping, due to viscous properties, friction and development of plasticity. In Plaxis (and in most dynamic FE codes), the material damping is simulated with the well-known Rayleigh formulation. The damping matrix C is assumed to be proportional to mass matrix M and stiffness matrix K by means two coefficients, R and R according to:

80m 16m

80m

80m

Figure 3. Finite element model utilized in the dynamic analyses

Figure 4. Free Horizontal Displacements (FHD) condition on lateral boundaries of FE Model

Different criteria exist to evaluate the Rayleigh coefficients (see for instance Lanzo et al., 2004; Park & Hashash, 2004; Amorosi et al., 2007). In terms of frequency, the dynamic response of a system is affected by the choice of these parameters to a large extent. In the numerical implementation of dynamic problems, the formulation of the time integration constitutes an important factor for stability and accuracy of the calculation process. Explicit and implicit integration are two commonly used time integration schemes. In Plaxis, the Newmark type implicit time integration scheme is implemented. With this method, the displacement and the velocity at the point in time t+t are expressed respectively as:

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Plaxis Practice

Remarks on site response analysis by using Plaxis dynamic module


Continuation

1 1 2 2

The coefficients N and N, which should not be confused with Rayleigh coefficients, determine the accuracy of numerical time integration. For determining these parameters, different suggestions are proposed, too. Typical values are (Barrios et al., 2005): a)  N =1/6 and N =1/2, which lead to a linear acceleration approximation (conditionally stable scheme); b) N =1/4 and N =1/2, which lead to a constant average acceleration (unconditionally  stable scheme); c)  N =1/12 and N =1/2, the Fox-Goodwin method, which is fourth order accurate (conditionally stable scheme); In order to keep a second order accurate scheme and to introduce numerical dissipation, a modification of the initial Newmark scheme was proposed by Hilber et al. (LUSAS, 2000), introducing a new parameter ( in the notation of the author), which is a numerical dissipation parameter. The original Newmark scheme becomes the -method or Newmark HHT modification. The -method leads to an unconditionally stable integration time scheme and the new Newmark parameters are expressed as a function of the parameter , according to:

where the value of belongs to the interval [0, 1/3]. By assuming =0 the modified Newmark methods coincides with the original Newmark method with constant average acceleration. Moreover, in order to obtain a stable solution, the following condition must apply in the Plaxis code:

Figure 5. Signal at surface of undamped analysis: a) accelerations time-history; b) Fourier Spectrum

1 1 N + N 4 2

Neither the linear acceleration approximation or the Fox-Goodwin method does meet such requirement. If no damping, material and/or numerical, is introduced in a dynamic analysis, the model reaches the resonant conditions at the natural frequencies of the system with a corresponding theoretically infinite amplification ratio. Figure 5 shows the response at a control point on the free-surface obtained for an undamped analysis (N = N = R = R = 0) in terms of the acceleration time-history and the Fourier spectrum as a result of the input signal shown in figure 2. The numerical results are very close to the expected theoretical values.

Figure 6. Influence of Newmark numerical damping coefficients on amplification function of the model

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Plaxis Practice

The standard setting of Plaxis is the damped Newmark scheme with N = 0.3025 and N = 0.6, that correspond to = 0.1. Figure 6 explains the results of numerical analyses for three different values of . Rayleigh coefficients were put equal to zero. When increases, the peaks amplification at the natural frequencies of the layer decrease. However, the shape of amplification function is not essentially modified. The numerical damping coefficients chosen by default in Plaxis (black curve in Figure 6) conduct to an amplification ratio (A=7.97 at f=16.55 Hz) smaller than the theoretical one (A=10.54 at f =16.95 Hz, see Figure 1) in correspondence to the second natural frequency of the layer. Note also that the value of second natural frequency of the stratum is underestimated by the time domain analyses. This is due to the finite element formulation with lumped masses instead of consistent mass matrices (Roesset, 1977). The natural frequencies with a lumped masses formulation, which is implemented in Plaxis, are always smaller than the true frequencies. Consistent mass matrices overestimate them. The accuracy of the results decreases with the number of vibration modes. Numerical damping has a great influence on the dynamic response of a geotechnical system and this issue should be particularly considered when an earthquake signal needs to be preliminarily processed. In fact, to reduce the calculation time, filtered signals at the frequency of interest (i.e., accelerograms with a reduced number of registration points) are often used for the input motion. In this case, users should be aware that the analysis needs an adequate calibration of Newmark coefficients, in such a manner to avoid the loss of important frequency contents of the signal. A comparison of the system response to a complete signal and a 25 Hz filtered signal is represented in Figure 7. Figure 8 shows the different amplification functions for three values of Rayleigh damping coefficient R. The coefficient R is given equal to zero for avoiding excessive damping of the motion at high frequencies. The results are referred to a numerical damping of = 0.055. This value has been worked out to obtain a good agreement between numerical and theoretical values of the amplification ratio that correspond to the second natural frequency of the layer as shown in Fig. 10. The solution with free horizontal displacements (FHD) on lateral boundaries is only reasonable for non-plastic material and when local site response is the objective of the study. If a 2-D configuration of the problem should be examined, horizontal fixities on the left and on the right hand of the model must to be applied. In these conditions, silent boundaries are often used to simulate infinite media. Different methods exist to apply a silent boundary (Ross, 2004). In Plaxis, viscous adsorbent boundaries can be introduced, which are based on the method described by Lysmer & Kuhlmeyer (1969). By default, relaxation coefficients c1 and c2 are set to 1.0 and 0.25, respectively. By placing the lateral boundaries sufficiently far from the central zone, the effects due to the reflection of waves on boundaries can be neglected. A comparison of the results with Standard Earthquake Boundaries SEB (Fig. 3) and Free Horizontal Displacements FHD (Fig. 4) on lateral boundaries is presented in Figure 10, by using default values for c1 and c2. It seems to suggest that better results are obtained by using FHD rather than SEB.

Figure 7. Influence of input signal filtering on amplification function of the model ( = 0.1)

Figure 8. Influence of Rayleigh material damping coefficients on amplification function of the model ( = 0.055)

Figure 9. Comparison between numerical and theoretical solution for D=2%

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Recent Activities

Remarks on site response analysis by using Plaxis dynamic module


Continuation

References
-  Amorosi A.,Elia G., Boldini D., Sasso M., Lollino P. (2007). Sullanalisi della risposta sismica locale mediante codici di calcolo numerici. Proc. of IARG 2007 Salerno, Italy (in Italian). -  Barrios D.B., Angelo E., Gonalves E., (2005). Finite Element Shot Peening Simulation. Analysis and comparison with experimental results, MECOM 2005, VIII Congreso Argentino de Mecnica Computacional, Ed. A. Larreteguy, vol. XXIV, Buenos Aires, Argentina, Noviembre 2005 -  Bilotta E., Lanzano G., Russo G., Santucci de Magistris F., Silvestri F. (2007). Methods for the seismic analysis of transverse section of circular tunnels in soft ground, Workshop of ERTC12 - Evaluation Committee for the Application of EC8, Special Session XIV ECSMGE, Madrid, 2007. Figure 10. Comparison between SEB and FHD on lateral boundaries solutions -  Brinkgreve R.B.J. (2002) , Plaxis 2D version8. A.A. Balkema Publisher, Lisse, 2002. Christian J.T., Roesset J.M., Desai C.S., (1977). Two- or Three-Dimensional Dynamic Analyses, Numerical Methods in Geotechnical Engineering, Chapter 20, pp. 683-718, Ed. Desai C.S., Christian J.T. - McGraw-Hill - Kuhlmeyer R.L, Lysmer J. (1973). Finite Element Method Accuracy for Wave Propagation Problems, Journal of the Soil Mechanics and Foundation Division, vol.99 n.5, pp. 421-427 - Lanzo G., Pagliaroli A., DElia B. (2004). Linfluenza della modellazione di Rayleigh dello smorzamento viscoso nelle analisi di risposta sismica locale, ANIDIS, XI Congresso Nazionale LIngegneria Sismica in Italia, Genova 25-29 Gennaio 2004 (in Italian) LUSAS (2000). Theory Manual, FEA Ltd., United Kingdom - Lysmer J., Kuhlmeyer R.L. (1969). Finite Dynamic Model for Infinite Media, ASCE, Journal of Engineering and Mechanical Division, pp. 859-877 -  Park D., Hashash Y.M.A. (2004). Soil Damping Formulation in Nonlinear Time Domain Site Response Analysis, Journal of Earthquake Engineering, vol.8 n.2, pp.249-274 - Roesset, J.M. (1970). Fundamentals of Soil Amplification, in: Seismic Design for. Nuclear Power Plants (R.J. Hansen, ed.), The MIT Press, Cambridge, MA, pp. 183-244. -  Roesset J.M., (1977). Soil Amplification of Earthquakes, Numerical Methods in Geotechnical Engineering, Chapter 19, pp. 639-682, Ed. Desai C.S., Christian J.T. - McGraw-Hill - Ross M., (2004). Modelling Methods for Silent Boundaries in Infinite Media, ASEN 5519-006: Fluid-Structure Interaction, University of Colorado at Boulder -  Visone C., Santucci de Magistris F. (2007). Some aspects of seismic design methods for flexible earth retaining structures, Workshop of ERTC12 - Evaluation Committee for the Application of EC8, Special Session XIV ECSMGE, Madrid, 2007.

Conclusions
The use of dynamic analyses to calculate the seismic response of a geotechnical system is dependent on advanced site characterization and numerical knowledge. It is necessary a good calibration of the numerical model before conducting a dynamic analysis for any type of 2-D problem. Some parameters (equivalent stiffness, numerical and material damping, etc.) can be chosen by comparing the dynamic response of model under vertical shear waves propagation to the theoretical solutions. In the present article, an example of procedure to calibrate the finite element model parameters has been presented in order to control the system damping. Material damping is often modelled by Rayleigh formulation. Moreover, numerical damping is also needed in order to attain a stable calculation. This leads to some difficulty to control the actual damping of the numerical model. A possible choice in order to limit such uncertainty is to set the minimum value for Newmark which allows stability, then fit the theoretical solution. This can be achieved by assuming Rayleigh =0 and changing Rayleigh only, in order to model the material damping with reasonable approximation in the desired range of frequencies. The best-fit criterion can be, for instance, reproducing the amplification of the seismic signal over the first and second natural frequency of the system. Modelling lateral boundaries and filtering input signal need to be carefully considered when performing such calibration. The proposed approach was preliminarily used for the analysis of some geotechnical earthquake problems as the seismic response of flexible earth retaining structures (Visone & Santucci de Magistris, 2007) and the transverse section of a circular tunnel in soft ground (Bilotta et al., 2007).

Acknowledgments
This work is a part of a Research Project funded by ReLUIS (Italian University Network of Seismic Engineering Laboratories) Consortium. The Authors wish to thank the coordinator, prof. Stefano Aversa, for his continuous support and the fruitful discussions.

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Recent Activities

Recent activities

Plaxis Asia
Plaxis Expands Plaxis Asia Office. Since 2006 Dr. William Cheang was already involved in pre and after sales activities in Asian countries. Furthermore William assist our agents upon request to promote Plaxis products and services via conferences, courses and seminars. From 2008 Plaxis bv appointed Mr. Eddy Tan to have the lead in the business development of all local sales and marketing activities for the companys Plaxis products and services. The aim is to establish a strong local presence in order to provide optimum support for all Plaxis users and prospects in the Asian market. Plaxis regards the Asian market as strategically important because it exhibits a strong and constantly growing demand in Plaxis products and service solutions. Plaxis Asia activities in 2008 are; To assist HQ in managing sales and technical support in Asia - To provide a better service & support to agents in Asia - To provide assistance to agents in sales & marketing - To provide necessary technical support to agents - To have direct contact with the local education institutions - To assist local agents to organise seminars and courses With the establishment of Plaxis Asia, one of her major focus will be the china market among other emerging countries in Asia. Although marketing effort has been started since 5 years ago in China, we notice the application usage are mainly in the higher educational institutions and research sectors. A recent marketing trip to China in Jan 2008 has elevated us beyond this horizon. We have met and presented our software to big private corporations such as the Water Resource commission, provincial governmentowned Electrical Power design consultants and railway design institutes, whom they see the potential needs on FEM application for their work. We also take the opportunities to understand their projects and problem faced during the various stages of their work. We are confident that Plaxis will soon be widely used by most private design firms in China just like any other geotechnical design consultants around the world.

Plaxis on the move


To be able to continue the increase of staff Plaxis bv moved to a new building. Detailed contact information on Plaxis bv and Plaxis Asia can be found at our contact page of our website.

Plaxis Events
Last year our worldwide expansion of Plaxis courses included also 2 fully booked courses in Latin America (Brazil and Colombia). In 2008 we have an extended Course Program to facilitate our knowledge transfer of the background and usage of Plaxis products. Please visit our agenda on the back cover of this bulletin or on the website to get a full overview of the upcoming Plaxis Events. We hope to meet you soon in our new offices or at one of the above mentioned events.

New Head Quarter Plaxis bv

Photographer Peter de Ruig

Photographer Peter de Ruig

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Plaxis finite element code for soil and rock analyses

Activities 2008
March 9 12, 2008 GI-GeoCongress 2008 New Orleans, USA March 10 13, 2008 International Course for Experienced Plaxis users Antwerp, Belgium April 2008 Seminars in Chongqin, Shanghai, Beijing and Guangzhou China April 10 12, 2008 TC28 Shanghai Shanghai, China April 2008 Seminars in New Dehli & Mumbai India April 29, 2008 Seminars London/ Glasgow United Kingdom May 4 7, 2008 13th Australian Tunneling Conference 2008 Grand Hyatt, Melbourne, Australia May 8 9, 2008 4th Conference on Advances and Applications of GiD Ibiza, Spain May 14 16, 2008 Course on Computational Geotechnics Pisa, Italy May 18 22, 2008 GI-GEESD IV Sacramento, CA, USA June 2008 Seminars in Vietnam Vietnam June 17 19, 2008 Numerical Methods in Geotechnical Engineering Manchester, United Kingdom June 10, 2008 Course for Experienced Plaxis Users Seoul, South Korea June 23 25, 2008 SAT 2008 Sao Paolo, Brasil June 2008 Russian Users Conference St. Petersburg, Russia July 2 4, 2008 E-Unsat 2008 Durham, United Kingdom July 2008 Course on Computational Geotechnics Guadalajara, Mexico July 15, 2008 Seminars Philippines Philippines August 2008 Course on Computational Geotechnics Houston, USA August 2008 Course on Computational Geotechnics Taiwan September 3 5, 2008 AMGISS, 2nd International Workshop on Geotechnics of Soft Soils Glasgow, Scotland, United Kingdom September 7 10, 2008 EuroGeo4 Edinburgh, Scotland, United Kingdom September 15 18, 2008 11th Baltic Sea Geotechnical Conference Gdansk, Poland September 2008 Course on Computational Geotechnics New Dehli, India September 22 27, 2008 ITA AITES World Tunnel Congress Agra, India October 1 6, 2008 12th IACMAG Goa, India October 8, 2008 Funderingsdag Ede, The Netherlands October 13 15, 2008 NUCGE 2008 Skikda, Algeria October 2008 Course on Computational Geotechnics Japan November 5 7, 2008 15th European Plaxis User Meeting Karlsruhe, Germany November 2008 Course on Computational Geotechnics Shanghai, China November 2008 Course on Computational Geotechnics Paris, France

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