Numerical study on undrained cone penetration in structured soil using G-PFEM

Laurin Hauser*, Helmut F. Schweiger

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This paper presents a model for the numerical simulation of cone penetration in structured soil under undrained conditions based on the Particle Finite Element Method. An extended version of the Clay and Sand Model (CASM), allowing microstructural bonding and its degradation to be taken into account, was implemented into the application G-PFEM and compared to the analytical solution for undrained spherical cavity expansion. A robust model for cone penetration is obtained using a nonlocal stress-integration combined with the IMPLEX integration scheme. A parametric study on the shape of the yield surface – which is adaptable for the CASM – and the degree of initial bonding, as well as the rate of destructuration, was conducted to investigate the influence on the obtained normalized parameters Qt, BQ, U, and the cone factors Nkt, NΔu, Nke used for the determination of the undrained shear strength. It was found that the highest cone factors, leading to conservative estimations of the peak undrained shear strength, are obtained for unbonded material. Both, the shear strength and the tip resistance increase due to soil structure, however, Nkt and Nke are not significantly influenced as long as no destructuration takes place during penetration.

Original languageEnglish
Article number104061
JournalComputers and Geotechnics
Publication statusPublished - May 2021


  • Clay and Sand Model (CASM)
  • Particle Finite Element Method (PFEM)
  • Structured soil
  • Undrained cone penetration
  • Undrained shear strength

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geotechnical Engineering and Engineering Geology
  • Computer Science Applications


Dive into the research topics of 'Numerical study on undrained cone penetration in structured soil using G-PFEM'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this