Large Deformation Finite Element Analysis of CPT in Calcareous Sands

Huimin Pei, Dong Wang, Zhenyu Yin, Qingbing Liu, Jingbin Zheng

Research output: Chapter in book / Conference proceedingConference article published in proceeding or bookAcademic researchpeer-review


The tip resistance measured within the cone penetration test (CPT) can be used to predict the pile tip resistance under axial loading, due to the geometric similarity. Most of the existing correlations were established in terms of siliceous sands, while the data for calcareous sands are limited. Calcareous sands in situ are featured with higher peak internal friction angle, but the strength reduction may be significant due to particle breakage. In this paper, a large deformation finite element approach, the Abaqus finite element package utilizing the Arbitrary Lagrangian Eulerian method (ALE) is used to study cone penetration in calcareous sands. A constitutive model proposed by Yin et al. (2016) and Wu et al. (2017) is incorporated into ALE to describe calcareous sands. The CPT in silicon sands is replicated by a modified Mohr-Coulomb model as well for comparison purpose. Frequent mesh generations are conducted in ALE, to avoid distortion of soil elements around the cone tip. The numerical results of cone tip resistance agree reasonably well with the existing data from centrifuge tests. It demonstrates that the modified Mohr-Coulomb and SIMSAND-Br models have potential to capture the behaviors of silica and calcareous sands. The cone resistance in calcareous sands is found to be affected remarkably by particle breakage around the cone.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationChallenges and Innovations in Geomechanics - Proceedings of the 16th International Conference of IACMAG - Volume 2
EditorsMarco Barla, Alice Di Donna, Donatella Sterpi
PublisherSpringer Science and Business Media Deutschland GmbH
Number of pages8
ISBN (Print)9783030645175
Publication statusPublished - 2021
Event16th International Conference of the International Association for Computer Methods and Advances in Geomechanics, IACMAG 2021 - Turin, Italy
Duration: 5 May 20218 May 2021

Publication series

NameLecture Notes in Civil Engineering
ISSN (Print)2366-2557
ISSN (Electronic)2366-2565


Conference16th International Conference of the International Association for Computer Methods and Advances in Geomechanics, IACMAG 2021


  • Calcareous sand
  • Cone penetration tests
  • Finite element method
  • Large deformation analysis
  • Particle breakage

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Civil and Structural Engineering

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