Steady-state solution for cylindrical penetrometers

Assaf Klar, Shmulik Pinkert

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


This paper suggests a new method for obtaining steady-state solutions for 'full-flow' penetrometers. The method is based on the numerical solution of the small strain plastic-flow problem (i.e. rigid plastic material) with an inhomogeneous strength field, which is determined by converting changes of material properties over time in a stationary frame of reference into spatial distribution of strength in a moving frame of reference. Rather than building streamlines from back integration of soil element distortion, as previous methods have suggested, the method treats the domain as continuous with the associated field equations. The method employs an upstream weighting technique for the determination of information flow within the domain. The execution order for the calculation is based on topological ordering. This results in the calculation having a complexity of O(N), as compared with O(N1.5) for the strain path or streamline methods (N is the number of discretized points), which significantly reduces the calculation time. The formulation is presented for the cylindrical (T-bar) penetrometer, and includes aspects of soil strength degradation, strain rate effects, strength anisotropy, and interface strength law. Comparison to previously published values, based on large displacement finite element simulations with remeshing, showed good agreement, indicating on the correctness of the suggested approach. Investigation into the soil rigid-body rotation and the remolding effect on anisotropy characteristics showed an interesting behavior, where the decrease of strength anisotropy due to remolding has a greater influence when the soil strength is higher in the vertical direction.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)645-659
Number of pages15
JournalInternational Journal for Numerical and Analytical Methods in Geomechanics
Issue number6
StatePublished - 1 Apr 2010
Externally publishedYes


  • Clays
  • Numerical modeling and analysis
  • Offshore engineering
  • Shear strength
  • T-bar
  • in situ testing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computational Mechanics
  • General Materials Science
  • Geotechnical Engineering and Engineering Geology
  • Mechanics of Materials


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