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Modelling of wetted granular media

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If you have a question about this talk, please contact Anama Lowday.

Granular media are composed of particles with specific kinematics dictated by steric constraints and frictional contacts that are responsible for the rich behaviour of these materials at the macroscopic scale. In nature and industrial applications, granular media occur also very often with cohesive bonds between the particles. These bonds may have different physico-chemical origins such as capillary bonds, van der Waals interactions and cement deposit that may be affected by environmental factors such as moisture and temperature.

In this talk, I will mainly focus on the modelling of the liquid states as a function of wetting and its effect on the strength properties. Two main cases will be investigated in detail:

- For low water content binary capillary bridges appear at the contacts between grains. In this case, the behaviour of the capillary bridge is determined from the integration of the Laplace law and implemented as a force law within a distinct-element model.

- For higher water content, the liquid can form complex clusters. In this case, a thermodynamic-based model is used to account for liquid-gaz phase transition.

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

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