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Protección de una estructura geotécnica: código analítico-numérico para analizar el fenómeno de migración de partículas


Oferta Tecnológica
Un equipo de investigación de una universidad italiana con experiencia en ingeniería civil ofrece un procedimiento original analítico-numérico para simular la posible migración de partículas finas a través de los huecos de materiales porosos bajo las fuerzas de arrastre producidas por los caudales de percolación. Este proceso puede aplicarse para explicar medidas piezométricas anómalas dentro de la masa del suelo de estructuras de retención de agua debido a los efectos de permeabilidad. El equipo de investigación busca pymes, universidades o centros de I+D con el fin de establecer acuerdos de investigación o servicio.


Safety of geotechnical structure: an original analytical-numerical code for the analysis of particle migration phenomena.
An Italian university research team with expertise in the field of Civil Engineering, offers an original analytical-numerical procedure simulating the possible migration of fine particles through the voids of porous materials, under the drag forces acted by the seepage flow. The research team is looking for SMEs, universities, or R-Y-D institutes to sign a Research Cooperation Agreement or a Services Agreement.
The client is an Italian university research team with expertise in the field of Civil Engineering.
The research of certified safety levels of engineering structures is receiving an increasing attention. The evaluation of these levels is extremely difficult if dangerous and hidden phenomena occur and threaten the structures and their foundation soils. The progressive (internal) erosion of soils, within earth structures, induces these kind of problems, that can be handled with only through advanced complex numerical analyses and procedures. In particular, the particle migration through the body of embankment dams is governed by a number of variables associated to the water seepage process and to the porous medium (permeability, voids distribution). The analysis is complicated by the transformations affecting the medium itself; in the course of time, in fact, under an assigned hydraulic gradient, particles are scoured and deposited or plugged depending on the local geometry of the openings and the state of effective stress prevailing along the path.
The offered technology is an original analytical-numerical procedure to develop advanced analyses allowing to better explain the migration of particles through the voids of granular materials, under the drag forces acted by the seepage flow. It can be applied to explain anomalous piezometric measurements within the soil body of water retaining structures, due to permeability defects (following internal erosion or suffusion or particles migration phenomena).
More in details, the analytical-numerical procedure is developed to: (i) model the progressive migration of fine particles within the voids of a granular material, dragged by hydraulic forces; (ii) evaluate the space-time evolution of physical and mechanical properties of the material; (iii) estimate the safety level with respect to serviceability or ultimate limit states; (iv) analyze the geotechnical effects on structures (embankment dams, levees, foundations, slopes, protective measures, ..); (v) develop the more reliable safeguarding measures. Furthermore, the procedure has been systematically applied to simulate the progressive generation of filters at the contact between different materials (contact erosion).
The code is already operating, applied to several earth dams in the world. An advanced version through which a 3D analysis may be carried out is under completion.
The proposed analytical-numerical procedure allows to obtain an increase of the safety of environment, against sudden and unpredictable ultimate limit states, related to coupled particles migration and seepage phenomena. For this reason, it could have a strong impact in market sectors like water storage, hydroelectric energy production and safety of levees. Up to date, no commercialized items are available. Therefore, the proposed original code constitutes a very attractive product to develop advanced analyses.
The client is looking for partners to sign a Research Cooperation Agreement (SMEs and big industries, R-Y-D institutions, universities) or a Services Agreement (public administration, R-Y-D institutions, local governments and private owners of dams). The main objective of a Research Cooperation Agreement would be the further validation and upgrade of the analytical models (seepage and migration of particles) as well as the numerical codes, finalized to the development of a marketable user-friendly 3D advanced version. The client can offer an already reliable technology and a deep knowledge in the field of Civil and Environmental Engineering; the partner is expected to share expertise in software and numerical procedures development, and in the reduction of costs for complex problems. The main objective of a Services Agreement would be to offer the advanced models both to public institutions involved in environmental and safety issues and to private owners, with partners sharing expertise on development of risk assessment procedures.
Advantages and Innovations:
The innovation regards the development of an original analytical-numerical code allowing to develop advanced analyses by taking into account the voids volume and constriction sizes distributions, the porosity of granular media as well as the rate of the seeping suspension and piezometric gradients, to better and comprehensively explain the particle migration phenomena.
The main advantage of the technology consists in the possibility to forecast hidden undesirable phenomena of internal erosion within the solid skeleton of a granular material, as well as to develop a rational back-analysis of complex hydro-mechanical behavior of earth structures affected by permeability defects related to progressive displacements of particles.
Up to date, no commercialized items are available. Therefore, the proposed original code constitutes a very attractive product to develop advanced analyses.
Stage of Development:
Available for demonstration
Secret Know-how

Partner sought

Type and Role of Partner Sought:
Research cooperation agreement

· Type: SMEs and big industries R-Y-D institutions, universities
· Activity: Civil, Environmental and Industrial Engineering;
software and numerical procedures development
· Role:
Experimental analysis to further validate and upgrade the analytical models (seepage and migration of particles) as well as the numerical code;
co-research for the development and implementation of a user-friendly 3D advanced version code to achieve a marketable product;
analysis for reduction of costs for complex problems.

Services agreement

· Type: Public administration, R-Y-D institutions, owners of dams
· Activity: Environment, Safety
· Role: End-user, development of risk assessment procedures


Type and Size of Client:
Already Engaged in Trans-National Cooperation:
Languages Spoken:


Technology Keywords:
01003006 Computer Software