Research Topic

Open pit mines closure plans

Engineers must guarantee complete security of the open pit mines after closing operations. Therefore, the stability of the overburden forming large areas with fill material should be verified. The hydro-mechanical behavior of the fill material is therefore carefully analyzed through experiments and robust simulations. Analysis of slope stability considering this material under special conditions are performed to evaluate the security of these former mines.

Unsaturated soils

Superficial soils above the phreatic level lay under an unsaturated state, which means that their pores are filled with air and water. The mechanical behavior of an unsaturated soil is very different to that of a water-saturated soil. A new theory is therefore herein proposed to simulate the materials behavior under unsaturated state. Some applications on geotechnical structures are examined through numerical simulations

Cyclic loading, e.g. off-shore

Structures subjected to cyclic loading experience irreversible displacements. Offshore foundations are an example of them due to the behavior of waves and tides. The effect of the cyclic loading during a large period (years) may compromise the overall stability of a structure, e.g. storage tanks, off-shore structures, vibrating machines, etc.

Understanding the mechanical behavior of the soil under a large number of cycles is still a challenge. Some experiments are here studied to analyze its behavior under such conditions and numerical models are proposed to capture this behavior

Slope Stability

This research field embraces static and dynamic analysis to evaluate the stability of slopes. The influence of water infiltration, earthquake forces, material properties and other factors are herein carefully studied. Geotechnical methods are proposed to stabilize the slope for certain conditions.

Constitutive model ISA for sands and clays

The Intergranular Strain Anisotropy ISA model is a new constitutive platform developed by Fuentes et al., 2014 to simulate the mechanical behavior of sands and clays under cyclic loading in finite elements softwares. The model is able to predict the compressibility and strength of different geomaterials including some effects such as anisotropy, loading recent history, viscosity, among many others

New Software for finite elements

The creation of a new software of finte elements has been initiated within the resarch group. The software will allow to include new material models and element types. It allows to run static, quasi-static and dynamic analysis.