Experimental and DEM assessment of the stress-dependency of surface roughness effects on shear modulus

M Otsubo and C O'Sullivan, SOILS AND FOUNDATIONS, 58, 602-614 (2018).

DOI: 10.1016/j.sandf.2018.02.020

This contribution assesses the effect of particle surface roughness on the shear wave velocity (V-S) and the small-strain stiffness (G(0)) of soils using both laboratory shear plate dynamic tests and discrete element method (DEM) analyses. Roughness is both controlled and quantified to develop a more comprehensive understanding than was achieved in prior contributions that involved binary comparisons of rough and smooth particles. Glass beads were tested to isolate surface roughness effects from other shape effects. V-S and G(0) were accurately determined using a new design configuration of piezo-ceramic shear plates. Both the experimental and the DEM results show that increasing surface roughness reduces G(0) particularly at low stress levels; however, the effect is less marked at high pressures. For the roughest particles, the Hertzian theory does not describe the contact behaviour even at high pressures; this contributes to the fact that the exponent in the G(0) - mean effective stress relationship exceeds 0.33 for sand particles. Particle-scale analyses show that the pressure-dependency of the surface roughness effects on G(0) can be interpreted using roughness index alpha which enables the extent of the reduction in G(0) due to surface roughness to be estimated. (C) 2018 Production and hosting by Elsevier B.V. on behalf of The Japanese Geotechnical Society.

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