Research at structural concrete laboratory

Soil-structures interaction

Concrete structures in direct contact with soil (tunnels, cut-and-cover tunnels, pipes, retaining structures, foundations, abutments and transition slabs of bridges, ...) are subjected to internal forces that strongly depend on their deformations and those of the soil. The study of this interaction is very important for the proper design of these structures.
A research on retaining structures and cut-and-cover tunnels has demonstrated that significant savings can be achieved if the structure has a sufficient deformation capacity and if the soil-structure interaction is correctly represented. This work, with the support of the Swiss Federal Road Office has led to the development of a new guideline for the design of cut-and-cover tunnels.
Another work in progress aims at checking up to what length integral bridges without expansion joints at the abutments can be built. In this case, the displacements at the bridge ends imposed by the expansion or contraction of the bridge superstructure are distributed in the soil and the pavement through the transition slab.


Reference publications

Soil-structure interaction in retaining structures and cut-and-cover tunnels

  • Plumey S., Muttoni A., Vulliet L., Labiouse V., Analytical and numerical analyses of the load-bearing capacity of retaining walls laterally supported at both ends, International Journal for numerical and analytical methods in geomechanics, 2010, 15 p.
  • Soil-structure interaction at the abutments of integral bridges

  • Burdet O., Einpaul J., Muttoni A., Experimental investigation of soil - structure interaction for transition slabs of integral bridges, Structural Concrete, 16, 2015, pp 470-479.
  • Dreier D., Burdet O., Muttoni A., Transition Slabs of Integral Abutment Bridges, Structural Engineering International, Vol. 21 n° 2, 2011, pp. 144-150.