A numerical study of one-dimensional compression of granular materials: I. Stress-strain behavior, microstructure and irreversibility

Abstract : The behavior of a model granular material, made of slightly polydisperse beads with Hertz-Mindlin elastic-frictional contacts, in oedometric compression (i.e., compression along one axis, with no lateral strain) is studied by grain-level numerical simulations. We systematically investigate the influence of the (idealized) packing process on the microstructure and stresses in the initial, weakly confined equilibrium state, and prepare both isotropic and anisotropic configurations differing in solid fraction Φ and coordination number z. Φ (ranging from maximally dense to moderately loose), z (which might vary independently of Φ in dense systems), fabric and force anisotropy parameters and the ratio, K0, of lateral stresses σ2 = σ3 to stress σ1 in the compression direction are monitored in oedometric compression in which σ1 varies by more than 3 orders of magnitude. K0 reflects the anisotropy of the assembling process and may remain nearly constant in further loading if the material is already oedometrically compressed (as a granular gas) in the preparation stage. Otherwise, it tends to decrease steadily over the investigated stress range. It is related to force and fabric anisotropy parameters by a simple formula. Elastic moduli, separately computed with an appropriate matrix method, may express the response to very small stress increments about the transversely isotropic well-equilibrated states along the loading path, although oedometric compression proves an essentially anelastic process, mainly due to friction mobilization, with large irreversible effects apparent upon unloading. While the evolution of axial strain 1 and solid fraction Φ (or of the void ratio, e = −1 + 1/Φ) with axial stress σ1 is very nearly reversible, especially in dense samples, z is observed to decrease (as previously observed in isotropic compression) after a compression cycle if its initial value was high. K0 relates to the evolution of internal variables and may exceed 1 in unloading. The considerably greater irreversibility of oedometric compression reported in sands, compared to our model systems, should signal contact plasticity or damage.
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This is the pre-print version of the article"Numerical study of one-dimensional compression of granular materials. I. Stress-strain behavior, microstructure, and irreversibility". The final version of this article has been published online in the 1 March 2017 issue of Physical Review E (Vol.95, No.3) and can be found via the url: http://link.aps.org/doi/10.1103/PhysRevE.95.032907

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Mohamed Hassan Khalili, Jean-Noël Roux, Jean-Michel Pereira, Sébastien Brisard, Michel Bornert. A numerical study of one-dimensional compression of granular materials: I. Stress-strain behavior, microstructure and irreversibility. Physical Review E , American Physical Society (APS), 2017, 〈10.1103/PhysRevE.95.032907〉. 〈hal-01497636〉

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