American Society of Civil Engineers

Meso-Scale Modeling of Deformation Banding in Saturated Dense and Loose Sands

by J. E. Andrade, (Northwestern University, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Evanston, IL 60208 E-mail: and R. I. Borja, (Stanford University, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Stanford, CA 94305 E-mail:

pp. 1-8, (doi:

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Document type: Conference Proceeding Paper
Part of: Computer Applications In Geotechnical Engineering
Abstract: This paper presents results obtained from finite element simulations of dense and loose samples of sand loaded under globally undrained plane strain conditions. The effective behavior of the sands is captured using a newly developed elastoplastic model for granular materials based on critical state theory (CST). The novelty here is the ability of the constitutive model to account for inhomogeneities in the density field at the meso-scale while still maintaining a macroscopic approach. The granular medium is assumed to be fully saturated and the interplay between the grains and fluid is fully coupled using mixture theory. Bifurcation analyses to study the different failure mechanisms for dense and loose saturated sands are performed on samples considered to be macroscopically ‘homogeneous’. The finite element simulations clearly show that the relative density and small defects present in the samples have a profound impact on the mechanical behavior of saturated granular media.

ASCE Subject Headings:
Finite element method
Sand, soil type
Soil deformation