Mathematical Characterization of Fabric and Its Use in Mechanics of Geomaterials

by B. Muhunthan, Washington State Univ, Pullman, United States,
J. L. Chameau, Washington State Univ, Pullman, United States,



Abstract: Increased evidence of the influence of their discrete nature on the observed behavior of geomaterials has prompted a number of investigators to look at these materials at the microstructural level. In this study, it is shown that a comprehensive description of geomaterials can be achieved via two measures: a scalar measure giving the mean value of a fabric descriptor, and a tensor measure giving its distribution in space. The development allows the fabric descriptors based on the solid phase and the void phase to be treated in a unified manner. The description based on the void phase is shown to be doubly attractive in that the parameters can be determined experimentally and it allows a systematic extension of classical soil mechanics principles. A framework along the lines of critical state soil mechanics is proposed to include the effects of fabric. Finally, a number of conclusions on the effect of fabric on the response of geomaterials are drawn.

Subject Headings: Fabrics | Geomaterials | Material properties | Voids | Soil mechanics | Mathematics | Microstructure | Solid mechanics

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