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Quantifying the evolution of soil fabric during shearing using directional parameters

Fonseca, J., O'Sullivan, C., Coop, M. R. & Lee, P. D. (2013). Quantifying the evolution of soil fabric during shearing using directional parameters. Géotechnique, 63(6), pp. 487-499. doi: 10.1680/geot.12.p.003


Over the past 50 years, experimental studies have repeatedly demonstrated that the mechanical behaviour of sand is sensitive to the material fabric, that is, the arrangement of the grains. Up until now there have been relatively few attempts to describe this fabric quantitatively. Much of our understanding of the link between the particle movements and interactions and the macro-scale response of granular materials, including sand, comes from discrete-element modelling and experiments on ‘analogue’ sands with simple, idealised shapes. This paper investigates methods of quantifying the directional fabric of a real sand and its evolution under loading. Statistical analyses of the distribution of fabric directional data in terms of particle, contact normal, branch vector and void orientations were carried out at different stages of shearing deformation. The data show that the initial particle orientation fabric that develops during the deposition of the material tends to persist during shearing, while in the post-peak regime the contact normals seem to be reoriented along the direction of the major principal stress. Different patterns were observed within the shear
band, as both the particles and the contact normal vectors appeared to rotate along the shear plane.

Publication Type: Article
Additional Information: Permission is granted by ICE Publishing to print one copy for personal use. Any other use of these PDF files is subject to reprint fees
Publisher Keywords: fabric/structure of soils, laboratory tests, microscopy, sands
Subjects: T Technology > TA Engineering (General). Civil engineering (General)
Departments: School of Science & Technology > Engineering
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