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An experimental and theoretical investigation into the small strain stiffness of clays

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The talk will focus on recently observed experimental results on the small strain stiffness of clayey soils and their interpretation in light of a new class of hyperelastic laws. More in detail, the seminar will include an introduction aimed at highlighting the role of elasticity in modern soil mechanics, followed by the description of the adopted experimental techniques, mainly consisting of piezoelectric transducers (bender elements) installed in stress-controlled triaxial systems, to detect the dependence of Ghv and Ghh on state and internal variables.

The second part of the talk will initially be devoted to the inconsistencies and limitations of the constitutive assumptions usually adopted to describe the reversible behaviour of soils, as such justifying the effort put in developing new, more theoretically sound, formulations based on hyperelasticity. A review of some recently proposed isotropic and anisotropic formulations will be proposed and their predictive capabilities will be evaluated with reference to the above experimental results. Ongoing and future research work will finally be addressed, leading to some more general conclusions.

Related references: RAMPELLO , S., VIGGIANI , G.M.B., AMOROSI , A. (1997), ‘Small-strain stiffness of reconstituted clay compressed along constant triaxial stress ratio paths’, Géotechnique 47 (3), 475-489. BORJA , R.I., TAMAGNINI , C., AMOROSI , A. (1997), ‘Coupling plasticity and energy-conserving elasticity models for clays’, ASCE , Journal of the Geotechnical and Geoenviromental Engineering Division 123 (10), 948-957. HOULSBY , G.T., AMOROSI , A., ROJAS , E. (2005), ‘Elastic moduli of soils dependent on pressure: a hyperelastic formulation’, Géotechnique 55 (5), 383-392. MITARITONNA , G., AMOROSI , A., COTECCHIA , F. (2014), ‘Experimental investigation of the evolution of elastic stiffness anisotropy in a clayey soil’, Géotechnique, 64 (6), 1-13.

Short CV: Angelo Amorosi is associate professor of geotechnical engineering at the engineering faculty of the Technical University of Bari, Italy, where he started working as a lecturer in 1999. He graduated in Civil Engineering at the University of Roma “La Sapianza” in 1992, where he then obtained his PhD in geotechnical engineering in the Structural and Geotechnical Engineering Department under the supervision of Prof. Giovanni Calabresi. During and after his PhD Dr. Amorosi spent some periods abroad, working at City University of London, Technical University of Athens and at the Department of Engineering Science of Oxford University. His research interests include experimental observations and mathematical modelling of the mechanical behaviour of clayey soils, development of numerical integration schemes for plasticity based constitutive laws, numerical simulation of various boundary value problems, under both static and dynamic conditions, with particular emphasis on natural and artificial slopes, earth dams and tunnels and masonry structures. He has been member of the editorial board of Geotechnique and of the Italian Geotechnical Journal and serves as reviewer for a number of international journals in geotechnics and mechanics. He currently teaches Foundation Engineering, Soil Mechanics and Soil Dynamics at the Technical University of Bari.

This talk is part of the Engineering Department Geotechnical Research Seminars series.

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