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Influence of particle size distribution on the proportion of stress-transmitting particles and implications for measures of soil state

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Title: Influence of particle size distribution on the proportion of stress-transmitting particles and implications for measures of soil state
Authors: Liu, D
O'Sullivan, C
Harb Carraro, JA
Item Type: Journal Article
Abstract: It is generally accepted that the use of void ratio and bulk density as measures of soil8state have limitations in the case of gap-graded soils as the finer grains may not 9transmit stress. However, hitherto no one has systematically explored whether this 10issue also emerges for soils with continuous gradings. Building on a number of experimental and discrete element method (DEM) studies that have considered the idea of an effective void ratio for gap-graded or bi-modal soils, this contribution extends consideration of this concept to a broader range of particle size distributions. By exploiting high performance computers, this study considers a range of ideal isotropically compressed samples of spherical particles with linear, fractal and gap-graded (bimodal and trimodal) particle size distributions. The materials’ initial packing densities are controlled by varying the inter-particle coefficient of friction. The results show that even for soils with continuous particle size distributions, a significant proportion of the finer particles may not transmit stress and be inactive. Drawing on ideas put forward in relation to gap-graded soils, both a mechanical void ratio and mechanical bulk density that consider the inactive grains as part of the void space are determined. Even for the linear and fractal gradings considered here, the difference between the conventional measures and the mechanical measures is finite and density dependent. The difference is measurably larger in the looser samples considered. These data highlight a conceptual/fundamental limitation of using the global void ratio26as a measure of state in expressions to predict granular material behaviour
Issue Date: Mar-2021
Date of Acceptance: 20-Oct-2020
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10044/1/85088
DOI: 10.1061/(ASCE)GT.1943-5606.0002466
ISSN: 0733-9410
Publisher: American Society of Civil Engineers
Start Page: 04020182-1
End Page: 04020182-14
Journal / Book Title: Journal of Geotechnical and Geoenvironmental Engineering
Volume: 147
Issue: 3
Copyright Statement: © ASCE
Keywords: 0905 Civil Engineering
0907 Environmental Engineering
Geological & Geomatics Engineering
Publication Status: Published
Online Publication Date: 2020-12-30
Appears in Collections:Civil and Environmental Engineering
Faculty of Engineering