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Dynamic soil-structure interaction analysis using

Dr. Navin Peiris
Ove Arup & Partners, London

A dynamic soil-structure interaction analysis was carried out for the seismic design of a pile foundation, for a
light railway structure at the JFK Airport in New York. The analysis was carried out using the explicit non-linear
finite element program, LS-DYNA. This summary briefly describes the methodology of dynamic soil-structure
interaction and discusses the results of the analysis.

The support structure for the light railway system (LRS)
shown in Figure 1 was to be founded on 19.8m long and J ! J'" = J
0.46m diameter steel monotube piles. A seismic hazard : i ; ] i
assessment gave a peak ground acceleration of 0.12g for
the project site, which has a 10% probability of exceedence
in a 50 year design life. This meant that the pile
foundation, support structure and the super-structure had to
be designed for seismic loads. The site consists of a 4m
thick layer of hydraulic fill overlying a thin layer of silt,
which is underlain by medium to fine glacial sand, clay
and sand to the bedrock at about 240m below the ground
surface. A liquefaction assessment carried out for the site
revealed that the hydraulic fill layer below the water table
(at 2m below the ground surface) has liquefaction potential
during the design earthquake. For the design of the piles,
Figure 1 LRS support structure
the effect of the presence of a liquefied hydraulic fill layer
was considered since this is likely to be conservative.
Pseudo-static pile analyses were carried out using the program Oasys ALP to determine the bending moment and
shear force distributions for the piles. This was carried out for various combinations of base shear from the
superstructure at the pile head and the kinematic load from the soil (soil displacements) derived from a site
response analysis using the design earthquake. The maximum pile bending moment obtained was 187kNm at the
pile cap level, which is close to the capacity of the pile at 200kNm. The maximum bending moment was
obtained when the base shear and the soil displacements are acting in the same direction on the pile. In order to
model the soil-pile-structure interaction more accurately, a dynamic soil-structure interaction analysis was
carried out.

DSSI analysis methodology

The method adopted for the dynamic soil-structure interaction (DSSI) analysis was to perform a non-linear time
history analysis using the explicit finite element program LS-DYNA. A 3D half model was developed as shown
in Figure 2. The model represents a horizontally layered soil profile, the pile group, pile cap, supporting column,
the base isolator and a lumped mass representing the mass contribution from the portion of the superstructure.

LRS Mass and

Elastomeric Bearing
Pile Cap
LRS Support
Column Pile Cap



Figure 2 LS-DYNA 3D half model Figure 3 Detailed view of the pile foundation

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The soil model used in LS-DYNA describes the hysteretic behviour of soils to cyclic loading with strain
dependent damping (hysteretic). The piles and the supporting column shown in Figure 3 were modelled using
beam elements that can form plastic hinges at their ends. The piles were connected to the soil elements via
transverse and vertical kinematic elastic-plastic springs. The limiting strength of the transverse and vertical
springs represents the passive resistance and the skin friction at the pile/soil interface, respectively. The piles
were fixed rigidly to the pile cap modelled as a rigid material. The elastomeric bearing isolator was modelled as
a linear spring and a dashpot.

The earthquake motion was applied at 29.5m below the ground surface. The ground motion at this level was
obtained from a site response analysis of the entire soil deposit above the bedrock using the program Oasys
SIREN. In addition, free field ground motions derived from this site response analysis were applied at the end
and far side boundaries of the LS-DYNA model. The use of LS-DYNA for DSSI analysis are described in
Lubkowski (1996) and Willford et al., (1996).

Results and conclusions

Figure 4 shows the deformation of the soil block during the time history analysis, where the liquefied hydraulic
layer experiencing significant shearing. The deformation of the piles at this instance is shown in Figure 5.
(Mid surface)

Figure 4 Deformation of the soil block Figure 5 Deformation of the piles and the LRS
during the analysis mass during the analysis

The maximum bending moment of a pile obtained from

Pilo Lateral F o r c e - D i s p l a c e m e n t R e l a t i o n s h i p s
the LS-DYNA was 120kNm, which is well below the
moment capacity at 200kNm. Hence the pseudo-static m-\
analyses were conservative in assessing the pile load
effects. The results of the LS-DYNA analysis indicate
that the proposed group of vertical piles has little effect
d 30-J /- / - - -
on the free-field lateral ground motion. This is due to the
relative flexibility of the piles when compared to the soil. 204- - - 1

A lateral load test was carried out to check the pile

capacity for lateral loads during a seismic event. This test i
Displacement (inches)
was also simulated in LS-DYNA using a full 3D model Average force per loading pile, test results

of the piles. The comparison of the test results and the Average force pei trailing pile, test results
Average force pei loading pile, sialic push-over analysi:
Oasys T/HIS
Force pet trailing pile, static push-over analysis
analysis are shown in Figure 6 where the solid lines
represent the load test results for the leading and trailing
edge piles. They show good correspondence between the Figure 6 Comparison of load test and analysis
load test and the analysis, which verifies the material results
models adopted in the LS-DYNA dynamic soil-structure
interaction analysis.

Lubkowski, Z. A. (1996) - "Verification of Oasys DYNA3D for the analysis of dynamic soil-structure
interaction", MSc Thesis, University of Bristol.
Willford, M. R., Piepenbrock, T. F., Izatt, C. B. and Lubkowski, Z. A. (1996) - "Non-linear time history seismic
structural analysis using LS-DYNA", Proc. 1 1 World Conf. In Earthquake Eng., Paper 558, Acapulco, Mexico.

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