This work is a numerical investigation of the effect of thermally induced volumetric collapse of normally consolidated clays on the performance of energy piles. A series of coupled thermo-hydro-mechanical Finite Element simulations were carried out using the commercial software ABAQUS. These examined a single free-head energy pile embedded in a normally consolidated clay layer subjected to a constant mechanical load and to a number of heating/cooling cycles, to reproduce operating conditions. The soil behaviour was described with two advanced hypoplastic constitutive models for clays, one of which incorporates the thermally induced volumetric collapse using an ad-hoc algorithm developed by the authors. Both models predict a cyclic accumulation of settlement and excess pore water pressure, especially when the thermal collapse effect is considered. While the excess pore pressure distribution stabilises within a few cycles, the rate of settlement of the pile head does not show any tendency to decrease from one cycle to another. These results are in agreement with data from small scale tests on an isolated energy pile in normally consolidated clay, indicating that the numerical model developed in this study can be used to investigate the complex soil/pile/raft interaction processes occurring in real piled foundations incorporating energy piles.
File in questo prodotto:
Non ci sono file associati a questo prodotto.