The influence of fines content and size-ratio on the micro-scale properties of dense bimodal materials

T Shire and C O'Sullivan and KJ Hanley, GRANULAR MATTER, 18, 52 (2016).

DOI: 10.1007/s10035-016-0654-9

This paper considers factors influencing the fabric of bimodal or gap- graded soils. Discrete element method simulations were carried out in which the volumetric fines content and the size ratio between coarse and fine particles were systematically varied. Frictionless particles were used during isotropic compression to create dense samples; the coefficient of friction was then set to match that of spherical glass beads. The particle-scale data generated in the simulations revealed key size ratios and fines contents at which transitions in soil fabric occur. These transitions are identified from changes in the contact distributions and stress-transfer characteristics of the soils and by changes in the size of the void space between the coarse particles. The results are broadly in agreement with available experimental data on minimum void ratio and contact distributions. The results have implications for engineering applications including assessment of the internal stability of gap-graded soils in embankment dams and flood embankments.

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