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,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Engineering Mechanics


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 | Soil mechanics | Material properties | Voids | Soil deformation | Mathematics

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