Fabric rates of elliptical particle assembly in monotonic and cyclic simple shear tests: a numerical study

M. Jiang, T. Li, Z. Shen
Granular Matter
elliptical granular material, Fabric Tensor, monotonic and cyclic simple shear test, Particle orientation

This paper aims to investigate the evolutions of microscopic structures of elliptical particle assemblies in both monotonic and cyclic constant volume simple shear tests using the discrete element method.

Microscopic structures, such as particle orientations, contact normals and contact forces, were obtained from the simulations. Elliptical particles with the same aspect ratio (1.4 and 1.7 respectively for the two specimens) were generated with random particle directions, compacted in layers, and then precompressed to a low pressure one-dimensionally to produce an inherently anisotropic specimen. The specimens were sheared in two perpendicular directions (shear mode I and II) in a strain-rate controlled way so that the effects of inherent anisotropy can be examined.

The anisotropy of particle orientation increases and the principal direction of particle orientation rotates with the shearing of the specimen in the monotonic tests. The shear mode can affect the way fabric anisotropy rate of particle orientation responds to shear strain as a result of the initial anisotropy. The particle aspect ratio exhibits quantitative influence on some fabric rates, including particle orientation, contact normal and sliding contact normal.

The fabric rates of contact normal, sliding contact normal, contact force, strong and weak contact forces fluctuate dramatically around zero after the shear strain exceeds 4 % in the monotonic tests and throughout the cyclic tests. Fabric rates of contact normals and forces are much larger than that of particle orientation.

The particle orientation based fabric tensor is harder to evolve than the contact normal or contact force based because the reorientation of particles is more difficult than that of contacts.

Keywords: elliptical granular material, monotonic and cyclic simple shear test, fabric tensor, particle orientation.

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