University of Cambridge > > Engineering Department Geotechnical Research Seminars > Evolution of microstructure and the critical state of granular materials

Evolution of microstructure and the critical state of granular materials

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  • UserProf Leo Rothenburg, Chair, Dept of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of Waterloo
  • ClockTuesday 16 October 2007, 16:00-17:30
  • HouseEngineering Department - LR5.

If you have a question about this talk, please contact Zelda Stuck.

Microstructure of unbound granular materials, i.e. the system of inter-granular contacts, evolves in response to loading. Much of the knowledge on the relationship between the state of microstructure and applied loads comes from numerical simulations in which the system of inter-particle contacts and its evolution can be explicitly determined. The lecture will focus on the theoretical framework within which various macroscopic measures of microstructure are introduced and their evolution is traced in the course of numerical simulations. It will be demonstrated that in numerical experiments with monotonic loading paths the microstructure evolves towards a state characterized by the limiting value of the average co-ordination number and by the limiting degree of anisotropy in contact orientations. This observation sheds a new light on the critical state of granular materials which may correspond to the limiting degree of anisotropy in the microstructure, in addition to the critical void ratio.

This talk is part of the Engineering Department Geotechnical Research Seminars series.

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