Calibration and performance of two different constitutive models for rockfill materials

Linke Li, Z. Wang, S. Liu, Erich Bauer*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In this paper, two different concepts for the constitutive modeling of the mechanical behavior of creep-sensitive rockfill materials are presented. Specifically, the performance of an extended generalized plasticity model proposed by Wang is compared with a simplified version of the hypoplastic constitutive model for weathered rockfill materials proposed by Bauer. Both models can reflect the influence of the mean stress on the incremental stiffness, the peak friction angle, and the dilatancy angle. The so-called solid hardness defined for a continuum description and originally introduced by Bauer is embedded in both models. Hydrochemical, thermal, and mechanical weathering are usually caused by environmental changes and are taken into account in a phenomenological description with an irreversible and time-dependent degradation of the solid hardness. A degradation of the solid hardness is usually accompanied by creep deformation of the stressed rockfill material. It is shown that appropriate modeling of creep deformation requires at least a unified description of the interaction between the time-dependent process of degradation of the solid hardness and the stress state. In this context, the solid hardness can be understood as a key parameter for describing the evolution of the state of weathering of the rockfill material. Particular attention is also paid to the necessary procedure for determining the constitutive constants of the two different constitutive models. Finally, the performance of the two different constitutive models is demonstrated by comparing the results obtained from numerical simulations with experimental data from the creep-sensitive rockfill material.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)227-239
Number of pages13
JournalWater Science and Engineering
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2016


  • Constitutive model
  • Creep
  • Generalized plasticity
  • Hypoplasticity
  • Rockfill material

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Ocean Engineering


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