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Geomechanics and Engineering
  Volume 13, Number 6, December 2017, pages 963-975

Free strain analysis of the performance of vertical drains for soft soil improvement
Sudip Basack and Sanjay Nimbalkar

    Improvement of soft clay deposit by preloading with vertical drains is one of the most popular techniques followed worldwide. These drains accelerate the rate of consolidation by shortening the drainage path. Although the analytical and numerical solutions available are mostly based on equal strain hypothesis, the adoption of free strain analysis is more realistic because of the flexible nature of the imposed surcharge loading, especially for the embankment loading used for transport infrastructure. In this paper, a numerical model has been developed based on free strain hypothesis for understanding the behaviour of soft ground improvement by vertical drain with preloading. The unit cell analogy is used and the effect of smear has been incorporated. The model has been validated by comparing with available field test results and thereafter, a hypothetical case study is done using the available field data for soft clay deposit existing in the eastern part of Australia and important conclusions are drawn therefrom.
Key Words
    finite difference method; foundation settlement; soft soil; vertical drain
Sudip Basack: Centre for Geomechanics and Railway Engineering, School of Civil, Mining and Environmental Engineering, University of Wollongong NSW 2522, Australia

Sanjay Nimbalkar: School of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Faculty of Engineering and Information Technology, University of Technology Sydney NSW 2007, Australia

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