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Mathematical Problems in Engineering
Volume 2016, Article ID 4256079, 12 pages
Research Article

Free Finite Element Approach for Saturated Porous Media: Consolidation

ETSI Caminos, Technical University of Madrid, Profesor Aranguren s/n, 28040 Madrid, Spain

Received 4 March 2016; Accepted 8 May 2016

Academic Editor: Giovanni Garcea

Copyright © 2016 M. M. Stickle 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.


The free finite element approach is applied to the governing equations describing the consolidation process in saturated poroelastic medium with intrinsically incompressible solid and fluid phases. Under this approach, where Voigt notation is avoided, the finite element equilibrium equations and the linearization of the coupled governing equations are fully derived using tensor algebra. In order to assess the free approach for the consolidation equations, direct comparison with analytical solution of the response of a homogeneous and isotropic water-saturated poroelastic finite column under harmonic load is presented. The results illustrate the capability of this finite element approach of reproducing accurately the response of quasistatic phenomena in a saturated porous medium.