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# FEM STUDY ON DEEP EXCAVATION IN SILTY SANDY

CLAYS
Siddharth Kulkarni[1],Yashwant Kolekar[2], Rahul Kolate[3], Pragvansh Awchar[4]

1- Post graduate Student, Department of Civil Engineering, College of engineering Pune, Email ID-

2-Associate Professor, Department of Civil Engineering, College of Engineering Pune, Email ID-
yashwantkolekar@gmail.com (Corresponding Author)
3- Post graduate Student, Department of Civil Engineering, College of engineering Pune, Email ID-
kolaterahul@gmail.com
4- Post graduate Student, Department of Civil Engineering, College of engineering Pune, Email ID-
pragvansh001@gmail.com

Abstract: Some commercial FEM codes especially written for geotechnical problem are used to analyze the
stability and ground movement due to excavation. Various constitutive soil models, from simple elastic model to
mathematically complex non-linear elasto-plastic models have been developed to explain the strength and
deformation behavior of soft soils. However, there is still problem in prediction of movements in and around an
excavation with the numerical method. The results of numerical analysis may be influenced by many factors
such as simplified geometry and boundary conditions, mesh generation, initial input of ground conditions and
significantly the constitutive relationship chosen to model the behavior of soils. This study aims to present a
simplified two-dimensional finite element studies on deep excavation in Silty Sandy Clays. The Finite Element
Code PLAXIS is selected as a numerical tool and Deep excavation for high-rise residential building basement is
chosen as a case study. This study will focus on the effects of mesh generation, initial input of ground condition
as well as the constitutive soil models. Finally, all finite element analysis results are and possible outputs are
presented.
Keywords: Constitutive Soil Models, Deformation Behavior, PLAXIS etc.

Introduction:
As the number of deep excavations in city is seen to increase exponentially so are the problems
associated with their construction. Structures in the immediate vicinity of excavations, dense traffic scenario,
presence of underground obstructions and utilities have made excavations a formidable task to execute. Clearly,
deep excavations are posing mounting problems that demand a site specific and tailor made retaining solution.
Even in complicated urban settings, deep retaining systems have been deployed successfully by overcoming
construction challenges. Unsupported excavations pose several hazards, and the following list gives some of the
important ones: 1) Very high risk potential of collapse or failure of excavation walls and consequently posing
hazard to workers and equipment. 2) Hazards during excavation due to presence of public utilities, such as
electricity, water, gas, or natural gases and oxygen deficient atmosphere. 3) Dewatering problems. 4) Wet,
slushy ground conditions, causing slips, trips, or falls, complicated by limited spaces in which personnel work.
5) Ground and/or ground water table changes affecting nearby structures.
Support provision for excavation depends on the type of soil in the area, the depth of the excavation,
the type of foundation being built, and the space around the excavation. During excavation, some soil types pose
greater problems than others. Sandy soil is always considered dangerous even when it is allowed to stand for a
period of time after a vertical cut. The instability can be caused by moisture changes in the surrounding air or
changes in the water table. Vibration from blasting, traffic and heavy machinery movement, and material loads
near the cut can also cause earth to collapse in sandy soil. Clayey soils in general, present less risk than sand;
however, soft clay can prove to be very treacherous. Silty soils are also unreliable and require the same
precautions and support provision as sand.
Diaphragm walls, Pile walls (Contiguous, Tangent or Secant), Soldier pile with wooden lagging walls ,
Sheet pile walls , Composite supporting systems that is, any of the retaining systems above strengthened by
Anchors, internal strutting etc. are Several in-situ support systems have been deployed for containing deep
excavations. The criteria for the selection of these systems are excavation depth, ground conditions, ground
water level, allowable vertical and horizontal displacements of adjacent ground, availability of construction
know-how, cost factors, subsequent construction methodology, working space limitations etc.
Diaphragm walls and Contiguous piles are commonly designed as flexible retaining walls. Such
retaining systems are considered to be vertical cantilever designed to resist lateral earth and ground water
pressures as shown in fig 1, and to rotate about some point b below the dredge level. The flexibility leads to
development of passive pressure at the toe in the backfill side of the wall. Blums simplification replaces the
passive pressure behind the retaining wall with a force applied to the wall at some height above the toe. The
necessary depth of penetration is found by taking moments about the replacement force position; C. Moment
equilibrium gives the required depth of penetration, provided that the net pressure diagram is calculated
including the effects of groundwater. The computed may be increased by 20 to 40% beyond the point required
by equilibrium (Teng, 1962); or the effective horizontal pressure on the passive side may be reduced by
applying a factor of safety of 1.5 to 2.0 before the embedment depth of pile is computed. Unit length of
diaphragm wall is considered for determining its reinforcement requirements, whilst for contiguous piles, the c/c
spacing is used for estimating reinforcement quantity.

## Figure 1: Earth pressure distribution in different soil systems.

A generalized equation for active and passive earth pressure computation is stated below:

## For any height of water column h, the hydrostatic pressure is computed as w h.

Where,
Pa and Pp = Active and Passive earth pressure intensity,
Ka and Kp = The coefficients of earth pressures for active and passive states,
respectively
c = unit soil cohesion
= unit weight of soil
h = depth under consideration.
Site Details:
This study considered for the case study is as under Site Located in down town area of Bangalore
having land Area of 27000 Sq. ft situated at very busy Main Road towards the west followed by Gold course.
The respective site is surrounded by low rise old buildings on the East and North and 30 ft. Small Road towards
the south followed by old Low-rise construction /Bungalow. The proposed Construction will be RCC high rise
33 storied tower with a 3 level basement about 10 meter depth. Excavation depth is approximately 12.9m and
Proposed Foundation is Raft Resting on Slightly weathered Granite. The Proposed Retention System considered
is Contiguous Bored Pile (CBP) Wall as temporary and permanent earth Retention system will be used during
excavation and permanent stages.CBP is required to be socketed into rock to provide sufficient embedment
length for excavation work and provide tension resistance for basement car park. Bored Pile Diameter for CBP
is of 800 mm with socketing of 2 meters. Based on the site investigation, the following soil parameters have
been defined
Table 1: Soil Profile

## Figure 2: Subsoil Strata

Based on the subsoil profile, the following problem geometry has been finalized which is given in figure no 3
Figure 3: Idealized Soil Profile

Methodology:
In this study, the author has attempted to carry out an investigation on the constitutive models utilised
in geotechnical finite element modeling programs, primarily Plaxis2D. The purpose of this study is to evaluate
the performance of geotechnical structures in deep excavations using finite element analysis comprising of the
elastic-perfectly plastic Mohr Coulomb model and the more complex non-linear Hardening Soil and Hardening
Soil with Small Strain model.
The Mohr-Coulomb yield criterion is a first order approximation of soil behaviour, and due to the
simplicity of the model, is employed extensively in geotechnical analysis. In PLAXIS, the Mohr Coulomb
model uses an elastic perfectly-plastic constitutive model for three-dimensional state of stress. According to
Smith et al (1982), when formulated in terms of yield stresses, the full Mohr-Coulomb yield condition consists
of six separate yield functions. The yield functions together gives rise to a fixed hexagonal cone in principal
stress space as shown in Figure

Figure 4: The Mohr Columb Yeild Surface in principal stress space for c'=0 (Brinkgreve
R.B.J. 2004)
Changes of stress remaining inside the yield surfaces are associated with stiff (elastic) response, and hence are
recoverable deformations. On the other hand the changes of stress which are on the yield surfaces are associated
with plastic response, and hence are irrecoverable deformations. For carrying out analysis the parameters used
for soil model of respective data are given below:
Table 2 -Material Properties for soil layers

## Table 5 : Material Properties for Grout

After detailed consideration of all the parameters and geometry, Plaxis model is finalised as per given in Figure
5:
Figure 5 : Plaxis Model
Towards the left is the traffic load modeled as UDL and towards the right structures are also modeled as UDL.
After defining the geometry in plaxis, Mesh is generated. After Pore pressure generation, mean effective stresses
are calculated and extreme effective stress reported is 387.91 kN/m2.

Analysis:
Analysis is carried our in three trials as under,
Trial 1: Without any anchors, excavation is carried out stagewise and displacements measured
Trial 2: With anchors at level 1 only, excavation is carried out stagewise and displacements
measured
Trial 3: With anchors at both level 1 and level 2, excavation is carried out and displacements
measured.
Apart from maximum displacements, following parameters are also measured
a. Wall movements
b. Bending moments in walls
c. Shear force in walls
d. Ground settlements along various points
The following sequence of construction was considered
1. Installation of pile wall
2. Excavate first layer of 3 meters (Upper Cluster)
3. Install and prestress anchors at level 1 (Only in Trial 2 and Trial 3)
4. Excavate further upto 8 meters (Middle Cluster)
5. Install and prestress anchors at level 2 (Only in Trial 3)
6. Excavate further up to a depth of 13 meters. (Lower Cluster)

Results:
In trial 1, entire excavation is carried out without using anchors. Excavation is carried out in three
stages namely upper cluster, middle cluster and lower cluster. During the simulation, it is observed that the
excavation support fails during the excavation of middle cluster excavation due to maximum displacement of
walls to the tune of 1.51 meters.
In trial 2, entire excavation is carried out with anchors only at level 1 ie at 3 meters depth. Excavation
is carried out in three stages namely upper cluster, middle cluster and lower cluster. During the simulation, it is
observed that the excavation support fails during the excavation of lower cluster excavation due to maximum
displacement of walls to the tune of 1.21 meters.
In trial 3, entire excavation is carried out with anchors at level 1 ie at 3 meters depth and level 2 ie at 8
meters depth. Excavation is carried out in three stages namely upper cluster, middle cluster and lower cluster.
During the simulation, from figure no 6 , it is observed that the excavation support is stable for the excavation
depth of 13 meters with maximum displacements reported at 513.07 mm only . Extreme Total Displacement of
513.07 mm is observed due to existing structures only before the start of excavation. Extreme Total
Displacement of 625.60 mm is observed due to existing structures and excavation of upper cluster. Extreme
Total Displacement of 619.48 mm is observed due to existing structures and excavation of upper cluster and
installation of level anchors. It can also be observed that the displacement has reduced due to prestressing of
anchors. Extreme Total Displacement of 697.24 mm is observed due to existing structures and excavation of
upper and middle cluster and installation of level anchors.
Figure 6 : Deforemed Mesh after Phase 6
Conclusion:
Deep Excavation Modeling in 2D using MC model provides engineering data pertaining to Ground
settlement, wall movement, bending movements, shear forces etc. As Excavation progresses, Settlements on the
ground increase as the depth of excavation increases. This is in agreement with behaviour reported by Usmani A
( 2010). Ground settlements increase considerably with increase in the loading. This is evident from the ground
settlement on the two sides of the two walls where the loading intensity differs. Overall behaviour of the model
is in agreement with the expected results but shows higher ground settlements.

References:
Raisa Ehsan (2012): a Study of Geotechnical Constitutive Models using PLAXIS 2D Institution of Civil
Engineers UK award wining paper for G&S
John Rigby-Jones . (2010): PLAXIS analysis of a basement excavation in central
London , Issue 28 Art 3 Plaxis .
Usmani A, RamanaG.V. and Sharma K.G. (2010):analysis of Braced Excavation using Hardening Soil Model,
Proceedings of Indian Geotechnical Conference 2010 Mumbai.
BP Naveen, TG Sitharaman, and S Vishruth (2011): Numerical Simulation of Vertically Loaded Piles
Proceedings of Indian Geotechnical Conference 2011 Kochi.
E. Farouz & J.-Y. Chen and R. A. Failmezger (2003): A case study using in-situ testing to develop soil
parameters for finite element analyses
Y. C. Tan, S.S. Liew and S. S. Gue and M.R. Taha . (2001): A Numerical Analysis of Anchored Diaphragm
Wall for a deep basement in KL Malaysia
Plaxis 2D manuals Review Materials Model Manual.

BIO DATA

Dr. Yashwant A. Kolekar graduated in Civil Engineering from Walchand College of Engineering Sangli in 1990,
post graduation from Sardar Patel College of Engineering Mumbai in 1999 and PhD from IIT Bombay in 2015.
He worked as Lecturer in Civil engineering at K J Somaiya Polytechnic Mumbai from 1991 to 2000 and
Government Polytechnic Thane up to 2003. He joined College of Engineering Pune in 2003 and since than he is
working as Associate Professor. He has guided more than 15 M. Tech students with interests in Rock Mechanics,
Ground Improvement, Offshore Engineering and Transportation Geotechnics.

Er. Siddhartha Kulkarni graduated from Pune University in 2000 and post graduation from College of
Enginering Pune in 2014. He is working as Director for Soil Tech India Pvt Ltd and has more than with more
than 10 years field experience in geotechnical investigations, Mineral Exploration, Drilling and grouting of
dams and tunnels etc. He has successfully executed projects all over India and abroad. He has worked on a lot of
R & D projects for development of new equipment. Currently he is looking after Projects Execution.

Er Rahul R. Kolate graduated from Pune University in Civil Engineering in the year 2015 and after qualifying
GATE examination is pursuing his post graduation at College of Engineering Pune since 2015. Presently he is
second year M. Tech Geotechnical Engineering student and has CGPA of 8.53. He is research area is
geotechnical investigations for infrastructure in urban planning.

Er Pragvansh D Awchar graduated from the Sant Gadge Baba Amravati University in 2014 and after qualifying
GATE examination is pursuing his post graduation at College of Engineering Pune since 2015. Presently he is
second year M. Tech Geotechnical Engineering student and has CGPA of 7.5. He is research area is geotechnical
investigations for infrastructure in mountainous terrain.