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Single-Grain Virtualization for Contact Behavior Analysis on Sand

Nadimi, S. & Fonseca, J. (2017). Single-Grain Virtualization for Contact Behavior Analysis on Sand. Journal of Geotechnical and Geoenvironmental Engineering, 143(9), article number 06017010. doi: 10.1061/(asce)gt.1943-5606.0001740


A methodology for virtualizing irregularly shaped grains is described here. The principle, largely inspired by computed tomography, is simple and accessible because only the three-dimensional (3D) outline of the grain is required. The volumetric object is obtained by reconstructing the planar projections of the grain acquired at different angles of rotation using a standard camera. Depending on the lens system, the resolution of the images can be as good as a few microns. A numerical representation of the real grain can be obtained by meshing the 3D image. The influence of grain morphology on the contact behavior of quartz sand is investigated here as an application of this novel technique. Numerical simulations using a finite-element model were carried out to reproduce the experimental data from normal compression single-grain tests. The results show the contribution of the initial grain rearrangement on the normal force-displacement response and its strong dependency on the shape of the grain. This study demonstrates that particle shape is a critical parameter for calibration of the contact behavior of sand.

Publication Type: Article
Additional Information: Copyright American Society of Civil Engineers 2017.
Publisher Keywords: Particle scale behaviour; Image based geotechnics; Contact mechanics; Micro finite element
Subjects: T Technology > TA Engineering (General). Civil engineering (General)
Departments: School of Science & Technology > Engineering
SWORD Depositor:
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