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Numerical Analysis of Shaft Resistance and Toe Resistance of a Pile in Unsaturated Soil

E. Evgin[1], J. A. Infante Sedano[1], Z. Fu[1]
[1]University of Ottawa, Ottawa, ON, Canada

A pile transfers structural load to the ground at the surface of its shaft and at its toe. In the calculation of these two components of load, both the deformation characteristics and the strength properties of the soil are needed. In unsaturated soils, matric suction changes the stress-strain-strength behavior of the soil. Similarly, the adhesion and the friction angle at the contact area between the soil and the pile shaft are affected by the changes in matric suction. In this paper, the effect of soil suction on the shaft resistance and toe resistance of a pile is examined. The interaction between a pile and soil mass is analyzed as a contact mechanics problem using COMSOL Multiphysics®.