Practice-Oriented Validation of Embedded Beam Formulations in Geotechnical Engineering

Andreas-Nizar Granitzer*, Franz Tschuchnigg

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The numerical analysis of many geotechnical problems involves a high number of structural elements, leading to extensive modelling and computational effort. Due to its exceptional ability to circumvent these obstacles, the embedded beam element (EB), though originally intended for the modelling of micropiles, has become increasingly popular in computational geotechnics. Recent research effort has paved the way to the embedded beam element with interaction surface (EB-I), an extension of the EB. The EB-I renders soil-structure interaction along an interaction surface rather than the centreline, making it theoretically applicable to any engineering application where beam-type elements interact with solid elements. At present, in-depth knowledge about relative merits, compared to the EB, is still in demand. Subsequently, numerical analysis are carried out using both embedded beam formulations to model deep foundation elements. The credibility of predicted results is assessed based on a comprehensive comparison with the well-established standard FE approach. In all cases considered, the EB-I proves clearly superior in terms of mesh sensitivity, mobilization of skin-resistance, and predicted soil displacements. Special care must be taken when using embedded beam formulations for the modelling of composite structures.
Original languageEnglish
Article number1739
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2021


  • 3D modelling
  • Deep foundation
  • Embedded beam elements
  • Finite element
  • Mesh sensitivity
  • Soil-structure interaction

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemical Engineering (miscellaneous)
  • Bioengineering
  • Process Chemistry and Technology

Fields of Expertise

  • Sustainable Systems

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