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Deformation of Granular Materials: A Look Within

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Combining x-ray tomography and 3D image analysis has finally opened the way for experimental micro-(geo)mechanics, allowing access to different scales of interest. In this talk a few examples will be presented of the kind of experimental results that can be obtained by means of x-ray micro tomography imaging. Images from x-rays can be analyzed either in a continuum sense (using 3D Digital Image Correlation) or looking at the individual particle kinematics. These advanced techniques offer us a look at what actually happens when a granular material deforms and eventually fails. However, there are issues when the scale of interest is very small, for example the characterization of grain-to-grain contacts (their orientations and evolution), or production of fines by grain breakage. These challenges will also be discussed through a few examples.

This talk is part of the Cambridge Geotechnical Society Seminar Series series.

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