Safety Factor and Failure Mechanism in Geotechnical Engineering: A Numerical Study

  • H. C. NguyenEmail author
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Civil Engineering book series (LNCE, volume 55)


Prediction of failure shapes and safety factors is the routine tasks for the geotechnical engineering profession. This paper presents an upper bound approach associated with the edge-based smoothed finite element method and second-order cone programming to estimate the ultimate load and its corresponding failure mechanism. The behavior of the whole domain is assumed to be rigid perfect plasticity and is governed by the Mohr–Coulomb failure criteria with the associated flow rule. The upper bound analysis turns to solve the optimization being casted as the second-ordered cone programming using a state-of-the-art code developed by mathematical researchers. Several simulations using the current numerical procedure have been carried out to investigate the dependency of safety factors and failure modes on soil parameters and geometry problems.


Safety factor Failure mechanism Geotechnical engineering 



The author wishes to thank Prof. C. V. Le for sharing his upper bound code for the Prandtl’s problem using the Von Mises criterion. The author is very grateful to the financial support provided by Vied-Newton Ph.D. scholarship and Dixon Ph.D. scholarship for supporting the studies at Imperial College London.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Civil and Environmental EngineeringImperial College LondonLondonUK

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