A stochastic particle breakage model for granular soils subjected to one-dimensional compression with emphasis on the evolution of coordination number

C. Tong, D. Sheng, K. Zhang, S. Zhang
Computers and Geotechnics
Coordination number, Discrete Element Simulation, Granular soil, One-Dimensional Compression, Particle breakage, Particle size distribution

Prediction of the evolution of particle size distribution (PSD) is of great importance for studying particle breakage. This paper presents a stochastic approach, namely a Markov chain model, for predicting the evolution of PSD of granular materials during one-dimensional compression tests. The model requires the survival probability of each size group particles in an assembly, named as the survival probability matrix. The Weibull distribution is used to capture the particle size and particle strength effects of single particles. The evolution of the coordination number is investigated via 3D discrete element simulations. The proposed analytical form of survival probability matrix with consideration of the coupling effect of particle-scale factors (i.e., particle size, particle strength) and evolution of the coordination number during one-dimensional compression shows that the largest particles in an assembly do not always have the maximum breakage probability (or the minimum survival probability). This also confirms the dominant role of the coordination number on the balance of evolution of PSD within granular soils. The proposed model is validated against experimental data from one-dimensional compression tests on different granular materials. The limitations as well as possible future developments of the model are discussed.

Keywords: Granular soil, Particle size distribution, One-dimensional compression, Coordination number, Discrete element simulation, Particle breakage

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