Numerical analysis of critical state behaviors of granular soils under different loading conditions
Discrete element method is used to simulate granular assembly behaviors with different initial conditions under three different loading conditions—plain strain, conventional triaxial compression, and direct shear. Different deformation modes of specimens with different conditions are presented. Some important parameters of the critical state theory are investigated. Uniqueness of the critical state line is checked which shows that there is no a unique critical state line for specimens with different initial void ratios under different loading conditions. Frictional angles and dilation angles of specimens with different conditions at critical state are compared. Void ratios and coordination numbers of specimens at critical state are studied. Anisotropies of the particle orientation and normal contact force at initial state, critical state, as well as the evolutions during shearing are analyzed. The anisotropy is shown to have significant effects on the soil behaviors and is related to the non-uniqueness of the critical state line. The developed numerical models can be used to study the micromechanics and microstructure of the specimen subjected to different loading conditions in the future.
Keywords: Granular soils, Numerical simulation, Loading conditions, Critical state, Anisotropy