Impact of Particle Size Distribution on Drained Shearing Response of Saturated Clays Using Discrete Element Method
A discrete element model developed for cohesive soils is utilized to simulate the behavior of saturated clays subjected to drained shearing. The platy-shaped clay particles are modelled, and the physico-chemical forces exist in cohesive assemblies are considered. The numerical specimen preparation mimics the physical clay specimen preparation prior shearing, where a kaolin slurry was one-dimensionally consolidated to a target 1D effective stress, then isotopically-consolidated at 20°C in a temperature-controlled triaxial cell to a target isotropic effective stress. The physical clay specimen was sheared at a constant mean effective stress (drained shearing), and the results were used to validate the numerical model. Simulations of the drained shear strength of saturated clays at a different isotropic effective stress are performed and shown to reproduce the expected drained shearing behavior of clays. Finally, effect of the particle size distribution on the DEM simulation results is also presented and discussed.
Keywords: Clays, Saturated soils, Shear stress, Soil stress, Particle size distribution, Drainage