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Soil Movement around Displacement Augers during Pile Installation using CFD

The aim of the project is to use numerical methods to investigate the movement of soil around the auger during pile installation. Augered piling is becoming more and more popular in urban environment because of reduced noise and vibration during the installation. However, little is know about the soil movement around the auger when it is driven into ground, and possible ground disturbance can cause damage to neighbouring infrastructures. Currently no theory has been developed to predict the movement in such cases because classical soil mechanics mainly concentrates on the soil behaviour before failure, while in this case the soil around the pile tip is sheared well beyond that. The designing of such augering tools are often left to experience.

It is therefore proposed to use numerical modelling techniques like CFD (Computational Fluid Dynamics) to investigate the problem. In the first year of the project we would like to have a thorough literature review of the current status of CFD in geotechnical engineering. The rheological parameters of soil can be obtained using the ring shear machine in our lab. Some physical modelling tests using transparent soil and PIV should also be included to validate the results later. The project requires very strong mathematical and computational background. A better understanding of soil mechanics is also necessary.

For more information please contact Dr Qing Ni.