Microscopic Assessment of the Thermally Induced Volume Changes of Saturated Clays Using Discrete Element Method
This paper explains the thermally induced volume changes in saturated normally consolidated clays using microscale changes. To achieve this goal, a discrete element model accounting for the physico-chemical interactions between clay particles (i.e., van der Waals attractive and double layer repulsive forces) was employed in this study. The developed model was first validated against thermo-mechanical experimental results then it was used to assess the thermally induced microstructural changes. The evolution of the physico-chemical interparticle forces and the interparticle separation distances showed a thermoplastic response. Such response justifies the thermoplastic contractive strains typically observed in normally consolidated clays.
Keywords: Consolidated soils, Clays, Thermal analysis, Saturated soils, Thermal effects