Gradual deformation of solid materials under the influence of stress is known as creep. Creep in construction materials of geological origin (geomaterials) can affect the performance of infrastructure. The results are high maintenance and repair costs and the partial closure of infrastructure during repair work, with associated economic and social impacts. The CREEP (Creep of geomaterials) project is investigating creep behaviour of geomaterials and integrating the results into geotechnical design. The aim is to establish a consensus for creep modelling and develop new design tools. Past research in the field of creep behaviour in soils has focused mainly on soft silts and clays. However, creep is also found in geomaterials such as peat, sand, rock fills and warm permafrost. The project will determine whether existing creep concepts can be adopted for these materials, and if different creep concepts can be unified. The consortium will attempt to answer these questions by combining practical experience from industry and theoretical concepts achieved by academia. Project partners collected high-quality laboratory data for describing creep and organised the information into a web-based database. The requirements for soft soil (clay and peat) creep formulations were established and the development of models has commenced. CREEP will create a series of time-dependent material models for modelling creep geomaterials, which will help to cost-effectively maintain and improve EU infrastructures.
Creep, geomaterials, construction materials, infrastructure, geotechnical design