Coupled hydro-mechanical model for partially saturated soils predicting small strain stiffness
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In the paper, we present newly developed hydro-mechanical hypoplastic model for partially saturated soils predicting small strain stiffness. Hysteretic void ratio dependent water retention model has been incorporated into the existing hypoplastic model. This required thorough revision of the model structure to allow for the hydro-mechanical coupling dependencies. The model is formulated in terms of degree of saturation, rather than of suction. Subsequently, the small strain stiffness effects were incorporated using the intergranular strain concept modified for unsaturated conditions. New features included degree of saturation-dependent size of the elastic range and an updated evolution equation for the intergranular strain. The model has been evaluated using two comprehensive data sets on completely decomposed tuff from Hong-Kong and Zenos Kaolin from Iran. It has been shown that the modified intergranular strain formulation coupled with the hysteretic water retention model correctly reproduces the effects of both the stress and suction histories on small strain stiffness evolution. The model can correctly predict also different other aspects of partially saturated soil behaviour, starting from the very small strain range up to the asymptotic large-strain response. © 2014 Elsevier Ltd.
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