American Society of Civil Engineers

Fabric Study of Granular Materials after Compaction

by Tang-Tat Ng, P.E., M.ASCE, (Assoc. Prof., Civ. Engrg. Dept., Univ. of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM 87131)

Journal of Engineering Mechanics, Vol. 125, No. 12, December 1999, pp. 1390-1394, (doi:

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Document type: Journal Paper
Abstract: Numerous micromechanical models have been developed based on assemblies of spherical particles with certain fabric distributions. Most of these distributions are hypothetical, and only very few of them can be determined experimentally. This paper presents a study to provide some useful fabric information for granular material. The discrete element method is used to study the microscopic information for granular materials after compaction. Specimens with 520 identical ellipsoidal elements are generated and compressed under different conditions. Up to six different aspect ratios are used to study their effect on the compression process. Two different compression methods and five different microfrictions between particles are used. The fabric of the specimens after compaction, including the total number of contacts, the distribution of particle orientations, the distribution of branch vectors, the distribution of the length of branch vectors, and the spatial distribution of a similar length of branch vector, is presented. The relations between these fabrics and particle shape, microfriction, and the compression process are also developed.

ASCE Subject Headings:
Discrete elements
Granular media
Material properties