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Advances in Materials Science and Engineering
Volume 2017 (2017), Article ID 1565438, 8 pages
Research Article

A Synthetic Material to Simulate Soft Rocks and Its Applications for Model Studies of Socketed Piles

1School of Civil Engineering, Wuhan University, Wuhan 430072, China
2China Railway 11th Bureau Group City Rail Engineering Co., Ltd., Wuhan 430000, China
3POWERCHINA Hubei Electric Engineering Corporation, Wuhan 430040, China
4Northwest Research Institute Co., Ltd., China Railway Engineering Corporation, Lanzhou 730000, China
5State Grid Hubei Electric Power Company, Wuhan 430077, China

Correspondence should be addressed to Xudong Fu

Received 9 March 2017; Revised 11 July 2017; Accepted 7 August 2017; Published 5 December 2017

Academic Editor: Andrey E. Miroshnichenko

Copyright © 2017 Can Mei et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


A detailed manufacturing procedure of a synthetic soft rock is presented, as well as its applications on the laboratory experiments of socketed piles. With the homogeneity and isotropy of the simulated soft rock, the influence of different variables on the bearing performance could be investigated independently. The constituents, cement, gypsum powder, river sand, concrete-hardening accelerator, and water, were mixed to form the specimens. Both uniaxial and triaxial compressive tests were conducted to investigate the stress-strain behavior of the simulated soft rock. Additionally, the simulated soft rock specimens were used in model pile tests and simple shear tests of the pile-rock interface. Results of the simulated soft rock in both the uniaxial and triaxial compressive tests are consistent with those of natural soft rocks. The concrete-hardening accelerator added to the mixtures improves the efficiency in laboratory investigations of soft rock specimens with a curing time of 7 days. The similarities between the laboratory tests and the field observations provide convincing evidence to support its suitability in modeling the behavior of soft rocks.