DEM analysis of the influence of the intermediate stress ratio on the critical-state behaviour of granular materials

X Huang and KJ Hanley and C O'Sullivan and CY Kwok and MA Wadee, GRANULAR MATTER, 16, 641-655 (2014).

DOI: 10.1007/s10035-014-0520-6

The critical-state response of granular assemblies composed of elastic spheres under generalised three-dimensional loading conditions was investigated using the discrete element method (DEM). Simulations were performed with a simplified Hertz-Mindlin contact model using a modified version of the LAMMPS code. Initially isotropic samples were subjected to three-dimensional stress paths controlled by the intermediate stress ratio, . Three types of simulation were performed: drained (with -value specified), constant volume and constant mean effective stress. In contrast to previous DEM observations, the position of the critical state line is shown to depend on . The data also show that, upon shearing, the dilatancy post-peak increases with increasing , so that at a given mean effective stress, the void ratio at the critical state increases systematically with . Four commonly-used three-dimensional failure criteria are shown to give a better match to the simulation data at the critical state than at the peak state. While the void ratio at critical state is shown to vary with , the coordination number showed no dependency on . The variation in critical state void ratios at the same value is apparently related to the directional fabric anisotropy which is clearly sensitive to b.

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