Boundary Element Analysis of Capped Pile Groups

Abstract

The boundary element method (BEM) has become one of the most powerfulnumerical techniques which has already established itself within the scientificcommunity. The most striking feature of this technique is that, in principle, only theboundaries of the region being investigated have to be discretized, which thereforeleads to many fewer discrete elements than any scheme requiring internal subdivisionof the whole body. This means that the number of unknowns is reduced dramatically,especially for 3D problems, as the unknowns occurred only on the boundary of theproblem.This paper is devoted to make use of the boundary element method (BEM) as apractical problem solving tool to analyze a soil - structure interaction problem. Theprogram (MRBEM) is adopted in this study for the analysis process. It is a generalpurpose boundary element method program for solving elasticity and potentialproblems with multiple regions. This program is written by FORTRN-90 language anddeveloped during this study to solve a three dimensional problem represented by agroup of piles. The results were compared with those findings in some experimentaland theoretical researches and good agreements were obtained.It was found that when using the BEM in the analysis, the stresses anddisplacements need only to be calculated where the details of interest occur on theboundary or are localized to a particular part of the domain, and hence an entiredomain solution is not required. Moreover, boundary conditions at infinity can bemodeled exactly without the need to extend the region a long distance away or to applyartificial boundary conditions as a result to the arbitrary truncation of the outer region.