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Dynamic response of a geotechnical rigid model container with absorbing boundaries

Lombardi, Domenico; Bhattacharya, Subhamoy; Scarpa, Fabrizio; Bianchi, Matteo


Domenico Lombardi

Subhamoy Bhattacharya

Fabrizio Scarpa

Matteo Bianchi


One of the major challenges encountered in earthquake geotechnical physical modelling is to determine the effects induced by the artificial boundaries of the soil container on the dynamic response of the soil deposit. Over the past years, the use of absorbing material for minimising boundaries effects has become an increasing alternative solution, yet little systematic research has been carried out to quantify the dynamic performance of the absorbing material and the amount of energy dissipated by it. This paper aims to examine the effects induced by the absorbing material on the dynamic response of the soil, and estimate the amount of energy reduced by the absorbing boundaries. The absorbent material consisted of panels made of commercially available foams, which were placed on both inner sides of end-walls of the soil container. These walls are perpendicular to the shaking direction. Three types of foam with different mechanical properties were used in this study. The results were obtained from tests carried out using a shaking table and Redhill 110 sand for the soil deposit. It was found that a considerably amount of energy was dissipated, in particular within the frequency range close to the resonance of the soil deposit. This feature suggests that the presence of foams provides a significant influence to the dynamic response of the soil. The energy absorbed by the boundaries was also quantified from integrals of the Power Spectral Density of the accelerations. It was found that the absorbed energy ranged between a minimum of 41% to a maximum of 92% of the input levels, depending mainly on the foam used in the test. The effects provided by the acceleration levels and depth at which the energy was evaluated were practically negligible. Finally, practical guidelines for the selection of the absorbing material are provided.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Sep 20, 2014
Online Publication Date Nov 22, 2014
Publication Date 2015-02
Deposit Date Dec 2, 2014
Print ISSN 0267-7261
Publisher Elsevier
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 69
Pages 46-56
Keywords 1-g Geotechnical modelling; Absorbing boundary; Free-field; Seismic simulation; Shaking table; Wave propagation; Foam; Damping;
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