DEM analysis of the effect of granular crushing on the bearing capacity of footings
Granular materials underneath footings are subjected to static and dynamic loads. As a result of these loads particle crushing may occur depending on the strength of the soil particles. Since particle crushing reduces the shear strength of a granular material and produces settlements, the performance of an engineering structure supported on a crushable soil can be compromised due to granular crushing. This paper presents the results of two DEM (Discrete Element Method) simulations intended to compare the effect of crushing on the bearing capacity of a simulated dense granular material. Also, a comparison with the theoretical bearing capacity is presented. Even though the two simulations considered the same idealized material, crushing was allowed only in one simulation. Particle crushing was possible by replacing the particle fulfilling a predefined failure criterion with a group of smaller particles. It was found that the ultimate bearing capacity of the material was strongly reduced as a consequence of only a moderate amount of crushing. This paper also presents the visualization of the failure mechanisms involved in the two analyzed cases.
Keywords: Bearing capacity, particle crushing, discrete element method (DEM)