Behavior of Interfaces between Granular Soil and Structure: A State-of-the-art Review

Yao-Kun Li1, Xiao-Lei Han*, 1, 2, Jing Ji1, 2, Dong-Long Fu1, Yan-Kun Qiu1, Bai-Cheng Dai1, Chao Lin1
1 School of Civil Engineering and Transportation, South China University of Technology, Guangzhou, 510640, P.R. China
2 State Key Laboratory of Subtropical Architecture Science, South China University of Technology, Guangzhou, 510640, P.R. China

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© 2015 Li et al ;

open-access license: This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Public License (CC-BY 4.0), a copy of which is available at: This license permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

* Address correspondence to this author at the Room 303, Architectural Engineering Training Building, No.381, Wushan Road, Tianhe District, Guangzhou, 510641, P.R.China; E-mail:


A state-of-the-art review of the behavior of interfaces between granular materials and solid structural components is presented. The review includes both the experimental and theoretical researches on the interfaces between soils and steel, as well as those between soils and concrete. Development of constitutive relations of such interfaces is also summarized. Furthermore, numerical techniques, both the Finite Element Method and the Discrete Element Method (DEM), to simulate the interface behaviors are stated. Aspects for future development in this area are also included.

Keywords: Constitutive model, DEM, granular material, interface, structure.