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Validation of Proposed Parameter Calibration Method

An extensive full-scale experimental program for investigating pipe performance in soil was carried out at C-CORE (e.g. Paulin et al. 1998), as part of a large international research project on soil-pipe interaction. Some of the tests consisted in lateral loading of a rigid buried pipe. Results from two such full-scale experiments involving lateral loading of a rigid pipe buried in dense sand (Figure 4a) are used here for validating the proposed methodology for parameter calibration. It is mentioned that the same sand material, at the same relative density has been employed for both the full-scale tests of pipe/soil interaction, and for the DSB tests used here, to infer the hardening/softening rules in Figure 3.

The finite element mesh (Figure 4b) is modelled using 108 eight-node biquadratic plain strain elements with reduced integration for the soil material, and 16 three-node quadratic beam structural elements for the cross-section of the pipe. In a drained analysis, the soil is idealized as a one-phase material, and all resulting stresses are effective stresses. The contact surface capability implemented in ABAQUS/Standard, which can handle separation and sliding of finite amplitude, is used in this study. Appropriate surfaces are defined on soil and pipe, and isotropic Coulomb friction is assumed at the interface, with a friction coefficient of m=0.54 (Popescu et al. 1999). Predicted and recorded force-displacement curves for the tests performed in dense sand using the hardening/softening rule in Figure 4 are presented in Figure 4c. Good agreement is observed between predicted and recorded values excepting for the location of peak loads.

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