Exploring the micromechanics of non-active clays via virtual DEM experiments

Arianna Gea Pagano, Vanessa Magnanimo, Thomas Weinhart, Alessandro Tarantino

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

The micromechanical behaviour of clays cannot be investigated experimentally in a direct fashion due to the small size of clay particles. An insight into clay mechanical behaviour at the particle scale can be gained via virtual experiments based on the Discrete Element Method (DEM). So far, most DEM models for clays have been designed on the basis of theoretical formulations of inter-particle interactions, with limited experimental evidence of their actual control over the clay’s macroscopic response. This paper presents a simplified two-dimensional DEM framework where contact laws were inferred from indirect experimental evidence at the microscale by Pedrotti and Tarantino, 2017 (particle-to-particle interactions were probed experimentally by varying the pore-fluid chemistry, and the resulting effect explored via Scanning Electron Microscopy and Mercury Intrusion Porosimetry). The proposed contact laws were successfully tested against their ability to reproduce qualitatively the compression behaviour of clay with pore-fluids of varying pH and dielectric permittivity. The DEM framework presented in this work was intentionally kept simple in order to demonstrate the robustness of the micromechanical concept underlying the proposed contact laws. It is anticipated that a satisfactory quantitative prediction would be achieved by moving to a three-dimensional formulation, by considering polydisperse specimens, and by refining the contact laws.
LanguageEnglish
JournalGeotechnique
Early online date6 Mar 2019
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 6 Mar 2019

Fingerprint

micromechanics
discrete element method
Micromechanics
Finite difference method
Clay
clay
Particle interactions
experiment
Experiments
Fluids
fluid
permittivity
Refining
Compaction
Permittivity
scanning electron microscopy
compression
particle
Scanning electron microscopy
prediction

Keywords

  • clays
  • discrete element method
  • compressibility
  • particle scale behaviour

Cite this

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title = "Exploring the micromechanics of non-active clays via virtual DEM experiments",
abstract = "The micromechanical behaviour of clays cannot be investigated experimentally in a direct fashion due to the small size of clay particles. An insight into clay mechanical behaviour at the particle scale can be gained via virtual experiments based on the Discrete Element Method (DEM). So far, most DEM models for clays have been designed on the basis of theoretical formulations of inter-particle interactions, with limited experimental evidence of their actual control over the clay’s macroscopic response. This paper presents a simplified two-dimensional DEM framework where contact laws were inferred from indirect experimental evidence at the microscale by Pedrotti and Tarantino, 2017 (particle-to-particle interactions were probed experimentally by varying the pore-fluid chemistry, and the resulting effect explored via Scanning Electron Microscopy and Mercury Intrusion Porosimetry). The proposed contact laws were successfully tested against their ability to reproduce qualitatively the compression behaviour of clay with pore-fluids of varying pH and dielectric permittivity. The DEM framework presented in this work was intentionally kept simple in order to demonstrate the robustness of the micromechanical concept underlying the proposed contact laws. It is anticipated that a satisfactory quantitative prediction would be achieved by moving to a three-dimensional formulation, by considering polydisperse specimens, and by refining the contact laws.",
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Exploring the micromechanics of non-active clays via virtual DEM experiments. / Pagano, Arianna Gea; Magnanimo, Vanessa; Weinhart, Thomas; Tarantino, Alessandro.

In: Geotechnique, 06.03.2019.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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AU - Weinhart, Thomas

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