The main objective of the proposed work is to facilitate representation of SSI by embedding elements in regular FEM meshes. In this way, embedded beam elements can be used to perform relatively fast and straightforward analysis of seismic and aseismic numerical simulations of foundation systems. They can be used for analysis and design of bridge pile foundations subject to axial and lateral loads, seismic excitations, lateral spreading and liquefaction flow failures. The proposed elements can also be used for validation and verification of current design methodologies as well as analysis of complicated engineering problems. Their application to practice is natural and in sync with other efforts in commercial codes like FLAC and PLAXIS.
The proposed work complements other PEER research efforts related to OpenSees implementation and validation of constitutive models for soils and of structural elements. Soil structure Interaction (SSI) is the obligatory link necessary to connect the geotechnical and structural domains. This works aims to improve current functionality in OpenSees to facilitate dynamic analysis of pile foundation systems.