Numerical modeling of rammed earth constructions: analysis and recommendations
Rammed earth (RE) material presents actually attracting interests in the context of sustainable development. In addition to low embodied energy, rammed earth constructions present interesting living comfort thanks to the substantial thermal inertia and the natural “moisture regulator” of the RE walls. This is why several researches have been recently carried out to study this material. However, comparing to other conventional materials (e.g. concrete), there is not yet sufficient results in the literature which enable to perform advanced studies in the case of extreme loadings (e.g. earthquake). The paper presents firstly a review of the existing studies on RE, from the material characteristics to the structural behavior, from the experimental results to the numerical models. An analysis of these results is presented. Secondly, numerical simulations using a finite element code (ASTER) are engaged. The Drucker-Prager elasto-plastic model is adopted. Experimental results, coming from the literature, are used to calibrate the numerical simulation. The variability of the parameters (Young modulus, friction angle, cohesion …) and the relevance of the used model will be discussed. Finally, recommendations for future numerical and experimental studies will be presented.