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A discrete element material model including particle degradation suitable for rockfill embankments
KTH, School of Architecture and the Built Environment (ABE), Civil and Architectural Engineering, Soil and Rock Mechanics.ORCID iD: 0000-0001-9091-8963
KTH, School of Architecture and the Built Environment (ABE), Civil and Architectural Engineering, Soil and Rock Mechanics.ORCID iD: 0000-0001-9615-4861
KTH, School of Architecture and the Built Environment (ABE), Civil and Architectural Engineering, Concrete Structures.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-1526-9331
2019 (English)In: Computers and geotechnics, ISSN 0266-352X, E-ISSN 1873-7633, Vol. 115, article id 103166Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

A material model for future implementation in high rockfill embankments has been developed using discrete elements. Compared to previous modelling of railway ballast representing particles as clumps of spheres with bonded asperities, much simpler breakable clumps are used. This allows considering not only corner breakage but also particle splitting without a prohibitive computational time, something unique when modelling three-dimensional assemblies of particles. Moreover, breakage is controlled by values of contact forces and particle loading configuration, resulting in significantly fewer parameters and with a much clearer physical meaning. All in all, it results in a more computationally efficient and robust model suitable for implementation in rockfill embankments. Numerical monotonic and cyclic triaxial tests are performed under a range of low deviatoric to confinement stress ratios, as anticipated for railway embankments. A comparable degree of resemblance to empirical results as the previous modelling efforts with bonded asperities is observed when including degradation. Results at particle level proved useful to partially explain the observed macroscopic responses; however, these were substantially affected by breakage and none of the studied variables could, on its own, satisfactorily fully explain the observed behaviour. As a matter of fact, a complex interdependency of different factors, both at particle and macroscopic level, was identified that ultimately explained the macroscopic response. The key contribution is thus presenting an efficient and realistic material model specifically aimed at modelling high rockfill embankments including degradation, something not attempted to date.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Elsevier, 2019. Vol. 115, article id 103166
Keywords [en]
Discrete element modeling, Granular materials, Rockfill embankment, Particle-scale behavior, Particle degradation
National Category
Geotechnical Engineering
Research subject
Civil and Architectural Engineering, Soil and Rock Mechanics
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-263509DOI: 10.1016/j.compgeo.2019.103166ISI: 000506718800008Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-85071493258OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kth-263509DiVA, id: diva2:1374513
Note

QC 20191202

Available from: 2019-12-02 Created: 2019-12-02 Last updated: 2020-02-14Bibliographically approved

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de Frias Lopez, RicardoLarsson, StefanSilfwerbrand, Johan

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