Static Liquefaction and Instability in Granular Media Subjected to Monotonic Loading—A Micromechanical Investigation
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Static liquefaction has caused a number of failures involving dam tailings, hydraulically placed fills and slopes. In order to understand the failure mechanisms that induce static liquefaction, the discrete element method (DEM) was used to study the behavior of a representative model of a granular sample at the micro level. Samples with different void ratios at same confining pressures were sheared under constant-volume conditions and the changes in the macro and micromechanical responses of the granular media were quantified. Characteristic states such as the instability state, quasi-steady state, phase transformation and critical state were identified in the simulations. The transitions between different characteristic states were related to micromechanical characteristics such as coordination number. Finally, the orientation of the weak contacts was seen to be dependent on the characteristic state, while the orientation of the strong contacts coincided with the major principal stress direction.
KeywordsVoid Ratio Discrete Element Method Weak Contact Static Liquefaction Constant Volume Condition
Mr Lopera would like to thank the IT Department at The University of Hong Kong for generously providing access to the high performance computer HPCPOWER2 in order to conduct the simulations presented in this work.
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