Numerical modelling of a field soil desiccation test using a cohesive fracture model with Voronoi tessellations
Numerical modelling of a field soil desiccation test is performed using a hybrid continuum-discrete element method with a mix-mode cohesive fracture model and Voronoi tessellation grain assemblages. The fracture model considers material strength and contact stiffness degradation in both normal and tangential directions of an interface. It is found that the model can reasonably reproduce the special features of the field soil desiccation, such as curling and sub-horizontal crack. In addition, three significant factors controlling field desiccation cracking, fracture energy, grain heterogeneity and grain size are identified.
Keywords: Cohesive fracture model, Elastic–plastic-fracture model, Fracture energy, Numerical modelling, Soil desiccation test