The yielding of brittle unsaturated granular soils

Giuseppe Buscarnera*, I. Einav

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

45 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

A complete thermodynamic theory is presented that is capable of explaining the dependence of yielding on the degree of saturation in brittle granular aggregates. Historically, constitutive models represented this coupling between mechanics and hydraulics only phenomenologically, by way of the incorporation of the loading collapse curve concept. This was done both for fine-grained and granular soils, and, for the latter case, without embodying the physical connection of yielding to elasticity, as motivated by fracture mechanics. Here, this connection is captured by the breakage mechanics theory, which underpins a grain-size scaling of the mechanical part of the Helmholtz free energy potential. In addition, an explicit reliance of this potential on hydraulic measures is explored, with another grain-size scaling inspired by the capillary theory. It is shown that through homogenisation these two scaling laws motivate a total macroscopic Helmholtz free energy that, together with the breakage dissipation, captures the salient couplings between mechanics and hydraulics properties, while showing a promising agreement with experiments.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)147-160
Number of pages14
JournalGeotechnique
Volume62
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 1 2012

Fingerprint

mechanics
Mechanics
Hydraulics
breakage
Soils
Free energy
grain size
hydraulics
fracture mechanics
soil
Scaling laws
hydraulic property
Constitutive models
potential energy
Fracture mechanics
elasticity
dissipation
Elasticity
thermodynamics
Thermodynamics

Keywords

  • Gravels
  • Partial saturation
  • Particle crushing/ crushability
  • Theoretical analysis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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

Cite this

Buscarnera, Giuseppe ; Einav, I. / The yielding of brittle unsaturated granular soils. In: Geotechnique. 2012 ; Vol. 62, No. 2. pp. 147-160.
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The yielding of brittle unsaturated granular soils. / Buscarnera, Giuseppe; Einav, I.

In: Geotechnique, Vol. 62, No. 2, 01.02.2012, p. 147-160.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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