Micro mechanics of isotropic normal compression
McDowell, Glenn R. and de Bono, John P. and Yue, Peng and Yu, Hai-Sui (2013) Micro mechanics of isotropic normal compression. Géotechnique Letters, 3 (4). pp. 166-172. ISSN 2045-2543
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Discrete element modelling has been used to investigate the micro mechanics of isotropic normal compression. One-dimensional (1D) normal compression has previously been modelled in three dimensions using an oedometer and a large number of particles and without the use of agglomerates, and it was shown that the compression index was solely related to the strengths of the particles as a function of size. The same procedure is used here to model isotropic normal compression. The fracture of a particle is governed by the octahedral shear stress within the particle (due to the multiple contacts) and a Weibull distribution of strengths. The octahedral shear stresses, due to local anisotropic stresses within a sample with isotropic boundary stresses, are shown to give rise to a normal compression line (NCL) and the evolution of a distribution of particle sizes. The compression line is parallel to the 1D NCL in log e–log p space, in agreement with traditional critical state soil mechanics and confirming that the compression index is solely a function of the size effect on average particle strength, which determines the hardening law for the material. The paper shows, for the first time, how local octahedral shear stresses induced in the particles within the sample generate an isotropic normal (clastic) compression line.
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