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A new approach for modelling vertical stress distribution at the soil/tyre interface to predict compaction of cultivated soils by using the PLAXIS code

Abstract : Soil compaction by agricultural machines can have adverse effects on crop production and the environment. Different models based on the Finite Element Method have been proposed to calculate soil compaction intensity as a function of vehicle and soil properties. One problem when modelling soil compaction due to traffic is the estimation of vertical stress distribution at the soil surface, as the vertical stress is inhomogeneous (non-uniform) and depends on soil and tyre properties. However, uniform stress distribution at the soil/tyre interface is used to predict the compaction of cultivated soils in most FEM compaction models. We propose a new approach to numerically model vertical stress distribution perpendicular to the driving direction at the soil/tyre interface, employing the FEM models of PLAXIS code. The approach consists of a beam (characterised by its geometric dimensions and flexural rigidity) introduced at the soil surface and loaded with a uniform stress with the aim to simulate the action of a wheel at the soil surface. Different shapes of stress distribution are then obtained numerically at the soil surface by varying the flexural rigidity of the beam and the mechanical parameters of the soil. PLAXIS simulations show that the soil type (soil texture) modifies the shape of the stress distribution at the edges of the contact interface: a parabolic form is obtained for sand, whereas a U-shaped is obtained for clay. The flexural rigidity of the beam changes the shape of distribution which varies from a homogenous (uniform) to an inhomogeneous distribution (parabolic or U-shaped distribution). These results agree with the measurements of stress distributions for different soils in the literature. We compared simulations of bulk density using PLAXIS to measurement data from compaction tests on a loamy soil. The results show that simulations are improved when using a U-shaped vertical stress distribution which replaces a homogenous one. Therefore, the use of a beam (cylinder) with various flexural rigidities at the soil surface can be used to generate the appropriate distribution of vertical stress for soil compaction modelling during traffic.
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https://hal.inrae.fr/hal-02662452
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Submitted on : Sunday, May 31, 2020 - 12:19:24 AM
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Kai Cui, Pauline Defossez, Guy Richard. A new approach for modelling vertical stress distribution at the soil/tyre interface to predict compaction of cultivated soils by using the PLAXIS code. Soil and Tillage Research, Elsevier, 2007, 95 (1-2), pp.277-287. ⟨10.1016/j.still.2007.01.010⟩. ⟨hal-02662452⟩

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