An improved elastic-viscoplastic soil model

Curtis Kelln, Jitendra Sharma, David Hughes, James Graham

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    45 Citations (Scopus)


    This paper develops an improved and accessible framework for modelling time-dependent behaviour of soils using the concepts of elasticity and viscoplasticity. The mathematical description of viscoplastic straining is formulated based on a purely viscoplastic and measurable phenomenon, namely creep. The resulting expression for the viscoplastic strain rates includes a measure of both effective stress and the corresponding volumetric packing of the soil particles. In this way, the model differs from some earlier viscoplastic models and arguably provides a better conceptual description of time-dependent behaviour. Analytical solutions are developed for the simulation of drained and undrained strain-controlled triaxial compression tests. The model is then used to back-analyze the measured response of normally consolidated to moderately overconsolidated specimens of a soft estuarine soil in undrained triaxial compression. The model captures aspects of soil behaviour that cannot be simulated using time-independent elastic–plastic models. Specifically, it can capture the dependence of stress–strain relationships and undrained shear strength on strain rate, the development of irrecoverable plastic strains at constant stress (creep), and the relaxation of stresses at constant strain
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1356-1376
    Number of pages21
    JournalCanadian Geotechnical Journal
    Issue number10
    Early online date18 Sep 2008
    Publication statusPublished - 2008


    • elastic–viscoplastic soil model
    • constitutive laws
    • time-dependent irrecoverable deformation
    • strain rate
    • stress relaxation
    • creep

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Geotechnical Engineering and Engineering Geology


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