Continuous and discrete modelling of failure in geomechanics

  • Félix Darve
  • Cédric Lambert
Part of the International Centre for Mechanical Sciences book series (CISM, volume 461)


Practice shows that there are various modes of failure in geomaterials. Different criteria have been proposed to analyse these failures. Hill’s Condition of Stability and diffuse modes of failure are particularly considered in this paper in a dual framework : continuum mechanics and discrete mechanics. With the assumption of continuous media and as an illustration, the experiments have shown that q-constant loading paths can exhibit non-localized failure modes and they are analyzed by the second order work criterion. More generally, the equations of the boundaries of the unstable domain and of the cones of unstable stress directions are established in axisymmetric and plane strain conditions. With the assumption of discrete media, grain avalanches are considered and, spatial and temporal correlations between bursts of kinetic energy and peaks of negative values of second order work are exhibited from discrete computations. It is concluded that the second order work criterion (under its double form : continuous and discrete) can be a proper tool to analyse diffuse modes of failure in geomaterials.


Plane Strain Condition Diffuse Mode Loose Sand Dense Sand Order Work 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Wien 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  • Félix Darve
    • 1
  • Cédric Lambert
    • 1
  1. 1.Laboratoire Sols, Solides, Structures, RNVO, Alert GeomaterialsINPG, UJF, CNRSGrenobleFrance

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