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DEM Analyses for the Constitutive Modelling of Granular Soils

Much has been written about the constitutive modeling of soils, however the occurrence of localizations (shear and compaction bands) in granular soils is a phenomenon still poorly understood. A better physical understanding of these phenomena could pave the way to improve the design of several geotechnical works (e.g. foundations, retaining walls, pipelines). The discrete element method is a numerical method which allows an analysis of granular systems at the microscale level obtaining detailed information on both statics and kinematics of particles. In this project, 3D DEM analyses will be run to investigate localization phenomena (in particular shear band formations) in uncemented and cemented sands. Triaxial compression tests mimicking laboratory conditions will be carried out for different initial void ratios and confining pressures to investigate the onset and propagation of shear and compaction bands. The obtained results will inform new constitutive models based on the observed micromechanics. An open source code will be employed to run the DEM simulations (C++ language). No specific background in programming is required for this project; however previous computational experience is desirable.

For more information please contact s dot utili at warwick dot ac dot uk.