Simplified Soil-Pile Interaction Modeling under Impact Loading

Mojdeh Asadollahi Pajouh, Jennifer Schmidt, Robert W. Bielenberg, John D. Reid, Ronald K. Faller

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Guardrails, consisting of soil-embedded piles tied with a rail, are safety barriers that are installed along highways to shield errant motorists from roadside hazards and to minimize the risk of serious injuries. Soil resistance plays a crucial role in the way that guardrails perform when impacted by vehicles. Although the consequences of guardrail system failures are tragic, little is known on the dynamic impact characteristics of soil and soil-pile interaction under impact loading. Thus, research was conducted to investigate the load-deflection behavior of a single pile under impact through dynamic large-scale component testing and numerical simulation using LS-DYNA. Baseline dynamic tests were performed on a steel W6x16 pile embedded in crushed limestone soil impacted by a surrogate bogie vehicle. Test results were used to develop a simplified numerical model of soil-pile system when impacted by a vehicle. The validated model was then compared to full-scale crash test data. The proposed soil modeling method accurately represented soil and pile behavior in component tests and full-scale vehicle crash tests.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)269-280
Number of pages12
JournalGeotechnical Special Publication
Issue numberGSP 292
StatePublished - 2018
Event5th Geotechnical Earthquake Engineering and Soil Dynamics Conference: Numerical Modeling and Soil Structure Interaction, GEESDV 2018 - Austin, United States
Duration: Jun 10 2018Jun 13 2018


  • Dynamic Testing
  • Finite Element Simulations
  • Guardrails
  • Highway Safety
  • Impact Loading
  • Soil-Pile Interaction
  • and LS-DYNA

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Architecture
  • Building and Construction
  • Geotechnical Engineering and Engineering Geology


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