A multiscale DEM-LBM analysis on permeability evolutions inside a dilatant shear band

Wai Ching Sun, Matthew R. Kuhn, John W. Rudnicki

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

74 Scopus citations


This paper presents a multiscale analysis of a dilatant shear band using a three-dimensional discrete element method and a lattice Boltzmann/finite element hybrid scheme. In particular, three-dimensional simple shear tests are conducted via the discrete element method. A spatial homogenization is performed to recover the macroscopic stress from the micro-mechanical force chains. The pore geometries of the shear band and host matrix are quantitatively evaluated through morphology analyses and lattice Boltzmann/finite element flow simulations. Results from the discrete element simulations imply that grain sliding and rotation occur predominately with the shear band. These granular motions lead to dilation of pore space inside the shear band and increases in local permeability. While considerable anisotropy in the contact fabric is observed with the shear band, anisotropy of the permeability is, at most, modest in the assemblies composed of spherical grains.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)465-480
Number of pages16
JournalActa Geotechnica
Issue number5
StatePublished - Oct 2013


  • Discrete element method
  • Homogenization
  • Lattice Boltzmann method
  • Micromechanics of granular materials
  • Microstructure
  • Strain localization

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geotechnical Engineering and Engineering Geology
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences (miscellaneous)


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