Monash University

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An Investigation on the Thermal and Thermo-mechanical Behaviour of Soils

posted on 2019-02-07, 03:00 authored by David Barry-Macaulay
Understanding the thermo-mechanical behaviour of soils and their thermal properties is important in the design of thermally active ground structures. Energy foundations are one such structure that requires sound knowledge of the thermal and thermo-mechanical properties of soils. Although energy foundations have become widespread across Europe, to date, no systems have been implemented in Australia. With the continual increase in electricity price and the emergence of environmental consciousness in Australia, energy foundations are a logical alternative to conventional building heating and cooling systems. However, currently limited information is available on the thermal properties of local soil which makes assessing of the feasibility of energy foundation systems difficult. Moreover, limited research has been undertaken to investigate the influence of temperature on the mechanical performance of energy foundation systems.
Thus, extending the current understanding of the thermo-mechanical behaviour of soils will provide important insights for the design of energy foundation systems. The research presented in this thesis investigates the thermal and thermo-mechanical properties of soils and rocks typically encountered during building excavation in Melbourne, Australia. The research focuses on four different areas: investigating the thermal properties of Melbourne soils and rocks; evaluating empirical thermal conductivity models against experimental thermal conductivity data; investigating the influence of temperature on the consolidation behaviour of Melbourne soils; and investigating the effect of temperature on the shear strength of soils [...]


Campus location


Principal supervisor

Malek Bouazza

Year of Award


Department, School or Centre

Civil Engineering

Degree Type



Faculty of Engineering