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A laboratory-based technique for grain size and shape characterisation

Nadimi, S. & Fonseca, J. ORCID: 0000-0002-7654-6005 (2019). A laboratory-based technique for grain size and shape characterisation. In: Proceedings of the XVII European Conference on Soil Mechanics and Geotechnical Engineering, Reykjavík, Iceland. The XVII European Conference on Soil Mechanics and Geotechnical Engineering, 1-6 Sep 2019, Reykjavik, Iceland.


The significance of grain shape dependent behaviour is widely reported in the literature. Quantification of grain shape is, however, not part of routine laboratory characterisation and this can be in part attributed to the lack to accessible equipment. In this paper, we discuss the potential of a novel imaging technique to capture the three-dimensional outline of grains. This technique enables the volumetric description of the grain to be obtained by reconstructing the planar projections of the grain acquired at different angles of rotation using a standard camera. The imaging setup is very simple and can be easily implemented in any laboratory. It includes a camera, a lens (optional) and a stepper motor to rotate the object in controllable and precise increments. The greater the number of acquired projections, the better the detail of the reconstructed volume will be. Results from single grain compression tests on Leighton Buzzard sand and a shelly carbonate sand from the Persian Gulf are presented to demonstrate the dependency of the tensile strength on the grain shape. The simplicity and easy access to this laboratory-based technique have the potential to enhance laboratory and physical experiments of geomaterials.

Publication Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Additional Information: © The authors and IGS: All rights reserved, 2019.
Publisher Keywords: Grain shape; Particle characterisation; Imaging; Sands
Subjects: T Technology > TA Engineering (General). Civil engineering (General)
Departments: School of Science & Technology > Engineering
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