Micromechanical interpretation of thermo-plastic behaviour of clays

Angela Casarella, Alessandro Tarantino, Alice Di Donna

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)
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The effect of temperature on mechanical behaviour of clay-based geomaterials is relevant in a number of geotechnical applications (e.g. low enthalpy geothermal systems and energy geostructures, nuclear waste disposal, and heating in rapid shear deformation). Mechanical response of (saturated) clays upon heating is not always intuitive as volume changes may occur due to both thermal expansion of clay constituents and temperature-induced changes of clay microstructure. This paper first revisits the macroscopic thermally-induced mechanical behaviour of saturated clays available in the literature via an advanced thermo-elastoplastic constitutive model and then elucidates the dependence on clay mineralogy of the two key parameters of the model (mechanical hardening and thermal softening respectively) by inspecting differences in clay inter-particle electro-chemical forces occurring in kaolinitic, illitic, and smectitic clays. The micromechanically-based interpretation of constitutive parameters can serve as a guidance for soil parameter selection in the design of energy geostructures.

Original languageEnglish
Article number09003
Number of pages7
JournalE3S Web of Conferences
Publication statusPublished - 18 Nov 2020
Event2nd International Conference on Energy Geotechnics, ICEGT 2020 - La Jolla, United States
Duration: 20 Sept 202023 Sept 2020


  • geomaterials
  • geoenvironmental engineering
  • clay


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