The influence of particle size distribution on the stress distribution in granular materials

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Title: The influence of particle size distribution on the stress distribution in granular materials
Authors: Liu, D
O'Sullivan, C
Carraro, JAH
Item Type: Journal Article
Abstract: This study systematically explores the effect of the shape of the particle size distribution on stress transmission in granular materials using three-dimensional discrete element method simulations. Extending prior studies that have focussed on bi-modal mixtures of coarser and finer grains, a broad range of isotropically compressed specimens with spherical particles and linear, fractal and gap-graded particle size distributions are considered. Considering isotropic stress conditions the nature of stress distribution was analysed by determining the mean effective particle stresses and considering the proportion of this stress transmitted by particles with different sizes. For gap-graded materials a contact-based perspective was adopted to consider the stress transmission both within and between the different size fractions. A clear correlation emerged between the cumulative distribution of particle sizes by volume and the cumulative distribution of particle sizes by mean effective stress for specimens with continuous PSDs. This correlation does not hold universally for gap-graded materials. In gap-graded materials the distribution of effective stress between the different size fractions depends upon the size ratio and the percentage of finer grains in the specimen. In contrast to specimens with continuous gradings, in the gap-graded specimens the distribution of effective stress amongst the different size fractions exhibited a marked sensitivity to density. Basic network analysis is shown to provide useful insight into effective stress transmission in the bimodal gap-graded materials.
Issue Date: 15-Sep-2021
Date of Acceptance: 1-Sep-2021
DOI: 10.1680/jgeot.21.00127
ISSN: 0016-8505
Publisher: Thomas Telford Ltd.
Start Page: 1
End Page: 37
Journal / Book Title: Géotechnique
Copyright Statement: © ICE Publishing, all rights reserved.
Keywords: Geological & Geomatics Engineering
0905 Civil Engineering
0907 Environmental Engineering
0914 Resources Engineering and Extractive Metallurgy
Publication Status: Published online
Online Publication Date: 2021-09-15
Appears in Collections:Civil and Environmental Engineering