Frictional Strain Hardening-softening in Experimental and Numerical Investigation of Arching Effect


Civil Engineering, University of Tabriz


In the current paper the results of a numerical simulation that were verified by a well instrumented experimental procedure for studying the arching effect over a trapdoor in sand is presented. To simulate this phenomenon with continuum mechanics, the experimental procedure is modeled in ABAQUS code using stress dependent hardening in elastic state and plastic strain dependent frictional hardening-softening with Mohr Coulomb failure criterion applying user sub-routine. The apparatus comprises concentric circular trapdoors with different diameters that can yield downward while stresses and deformations are recorded simultaneously. As the trapdoor starts to yield, the whole soil mass deforms elastically. However, after an immediate specified displacement, depending on the diameter of the trapdoor, the soil mass behaves plastically. This behavior of sand occurs due to the flow phenomenon and continues until the stress on trapdoor is minimized. Then the failure process develops in sand and the measured stress on the trapdoor shows an ascending trend. This indicates gradual separation of the yielding mass from the whole soil body. Finally, the flow process leads to establish a stable vault of sand called arching mechanism or progressive collapse of the soil body.