This paper presents a modified finite element formulation of frictional contact for soil-pile interaction. This modified formulation is based on smoothed discretisation of the pile surface using BÉZIER polynomials. The finite element code based on this formulation is then used to analyse the loading of piles with enlarged ends of different shapes. Very simple material models are used to represent the behaviour of the soil and the pile. The numerical predictions are compared with the laboratory measurements. It is demonstrated that the new finite element formulation can produce reasonable results for the pile loading problem that involves large interfacial sliding and surface separation.
2008 The Japanese Geotechnical Society