Particle-scale mechanics of sand crushing in compression and shearing using DEM

KJ Hanley and C O'Sullivan and X Huang, SOILS AND FOUNDATIONS, 55, 1100-1112 (2015).

DOI: 10.1016/j.sandf.2015.09.011

In this paper, the discrete element method is used to explore why differing amounts of breakage, quantified using Hardin's relative breakage parameter (Br), are associated with the critical state line (CSL) and the normal compression line (NCL) at similar stress levels. Virtual samples, initially containing more than 20,000 spherical particles, were isotropically compressed to a range of confining pressures up to 56 MPa and subjected to triaxial compression, both considering and disregarding particle crushing. A particle crushing model was developed for these simulations which is both computationally tractable and gives macro-scale results qualitatively in agreement with laboratory tests. The CSLs are both linear in q-p' space. A curved peak envelope, corresponding to a curved Mohr-Coulomb envelope, is obtained for the crushing simulations which is absent when crushing is disabled. Consideration of particle crushing reduces the peak stress, and the volumetric response is much more contractive with crushing at high p'. These simulations capture the behaviour in B-r-p' space expected from published laboratory tests. The difference in behaviour along the NCL and CSL is explained by the larger fluctuations in contact force during triaxial shearing than during isotropic compression which was quantified using a newly-defined measure, the contact number ratio. Particle crushing continues after the critical state is attained, contributing to counteract the dilation induced by particle rearrangement. (C) 2015 The Japanese Geotechnical Society. Production and hosting by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

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