DEM modelling to assess internal stability of gap-graded assemblies of spherical particles under various relative densities, fine contents and gap ratios

Ahmadi, M., Shire, T. , Mehdizadeh, A. and Disfani, M. (2020) DEM modelling to assess internal stability of gap-graded assemblies of spherical particles under various relative densities, fine contents and gap ratios. Computers and Geotechnics, 126, 103710. (doi: 10.1016/j.compgeo.2020.103710)

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Abstract

It is believed that the relative density (Dr) can affect the internal stability of the gap-graded soils and hence the erosion of their fine particles (i.e. susceptibility to suffusion). This paper investigates the influence of Dr on the contribution of fine particles to soil fabric. A new procedure is proposed to produce samples with target Dr using the discrete element method (DEM). DEM simulations were carried out using spherical particles. Particulate scale analysis of variation of stress reduction factor (αDEM), the evolution of contact type and fine particle coordination number (Zfine) with Dr reveals how Dr affects packing stability. The results show that packings with a fine content of 35% and the gap ratio in a range of 4–7 are in the transitional zone in which they are unstable initially and become internally stable as Dr increases. The behaviour of gap-graded soil in the transitional zone is governed by fine-coarse contacts, but fine-fine contacts dominate the behaviour when soil becomes internally stable. Both αDEM and Zfine are reliable parameters in determining internal stability of gap-graded soils. Finally, the correlation between the results and macro-scale matrix phase diagrams confirms the validity of micro-scale information to describe the underlying phenomenon.

Item Type:Articles
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Shire, Dr Thomas
Authors: Ahmadi, M., Shire, T., Mehdizadeh, A., and Disfani, M.
College/School:College of Science and Engineering > School of Engineering > Infrastructure and Environment
Journal Name:Computers and Geotechnics
Publisher:Elsevier
ISSN:0266-352X
ISSN (Online):1873-7633
Published Online:09 July 2020
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2020 Elsevier Ltd.
First Published:First published in Computers and Geotechnics 126:103710
Publisher Policy:Reproduced in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher

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