Prediction of soil compaction using the finite element method

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Raper, Randy
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Don C. Erbach
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Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering

Since 1905, the Department of Agricultural Engineering, now the Department of Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering (ABE), has been a leader in providing engineering solutions to agricultural problems in the United States and the world. The department’s original mission was to mechanize agriculture. That mission has evolved to encompass a global view of the entire food production system–the wise management of natural resources in the production, processing, storage, handling, and use of food fiber and other biological products.

In 1905 Agricultural Engineering was recognized as a subdivision of the Department of Agronomy, and in 1907 it was recognized as a unique department. It was renamed the Department of Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering in 1990. The department merged with the Department of Industrial Education and Technology in 2004.

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  • Department of Agricultural Engineering (1907–1990)

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Prediction of soil compaction of agricultural soils is very difficult due to the variability of these soils. A numerical method, such as the finite element method, may be the only technique that can take into consideration their variability and be used to predict this quantity. Therefore, a finite element program has been developed that takes into consideration the nonlinear constitutive relationship of agricultural soils. This nonlinear relationship was taken from research at the National Soil Dynamics Laboratory (NSDL) and Auburn University in Auburn, Alabama where a compaction model has been developed. This compaction model was used to predict values of linear elastic parameters, Young's modulus and Poisson's ratio, that were used in the finite element model and varied for each element. An incremental loading technique was used by this model to gradually load the soil medium so that these quantities could be varied numerous times over the loading period. An experiment was performed in a soil bin at the NSDL to obtain stress values in the soil to check the finite element model's predictive accuracy. Three of four loading configurations that were tested at the NSDL were accurately modeled. Overall results were promising from this program and it can be used to reasonably predict the stress state and compaction beneath an axisymmetric device such as a tire.

Thu Jan 01 00:00:00 UTC 1987