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Research article2023Peer reviewed

Discrete element modelling of stress propagation in soil under a rigid wheel in a soil bin: a simulation of probe inducing stress deviation and wheel speed

Bahrami, Mostafa; Naderi-Boldaji, Mojtaba; Ghanbarian, Davoud; Keller, Thomas


Discrete element method (DEM) is a suitable technique for simulation of stress propagation in soils, particularly with freshly tilled or aggregated structures. Measurement of true stress, in the absence of a stress-measuring probe inserted in the soil, is not experimentally possible. Stress probes may therefore under- or over-estimate true soil stress. Building on previous work simulating vertical stress propagation under plate sinkage loading, the study modelled stress propagation under a moving rigid wheel. The aim was to determine how vertical stress, with and without a probe, at a given depth may differ under dynamic loading vs. static plate sinkage loading and with varying wheel speed. DEM parameters of the hysteretic spring-linear cohesion contact model were calibrated by a cone penetration test which was validated by wheel sinkage into the soil. Two tests were conducted in a soil bin at a water content of 11% d.b; at a bulk density of 1200 kg m(-3) and a wheel loading of 600 N, and at a bulk density of 1350 kg m(-3) and wheel loading of 1200 N. Vertical soil stress was measured at 0.15 m depth using a cylindrical load cell probe. The DEM simulation underestimated the measured stress by an average 13%. Average stress overestimation ratio (with/without probe stress) was found to be 1.12, which agreed with measurements beneath the plate during plate sinkage loading. Increasing wheel speed from 0.2 to 6 m s(-1) showed a 7% increase in DEM-simulated with-probe stress. (c) 2023 IAgrE. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.


Discrete element method; Stress propagation; Stress probe; Stress overestimation; Soil bin

Published in

Biosystems Engineering
2023, Volume: 230, pages: 159-170

    UKÄ Subject classification

    Agricultural Science
    Soil Science

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