A visco-elasto-plastic model for granular materials under simple shear conditions

I. Redaelli*, C. di Prisco, D. Vescovi

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

24 Citations (Scopus)
4 Downloads (Pure)


The numerical simulation of rapid landslides is quite complex mainly because constitutive models capable of simulating the mechanical behaviour of granular materials in the pre-collapse and post-collapse regimes are still missing. The goal of this paper is to introduce a constitutive model capable of capturing the response of dry granular flows from quasi-static to dynamic conditions, in particular when the material experiences a sort of solid-to-fluid phase transition. An ideal assembly of identical spheres under simple shear conditions is considered. In the constitutive model, void ratio and granular temperature have been chosen as state variables, and both shear and normal stresses are computed as the sum of two contributions: the quasi-static one and the collisional one. The former is determined by using a perfect elasto-plastic model including the critical state concept, while the latter is derived from the kinetic theory of granular gases. The evolution of the granular temperature, fundamentally governing the material phase transition, is obtained by imposing the kinetic fluctuating energy balance. The constitutive relationship has been integrated, under both constant pressure and constant volume conditions, and the influence of shear strain rate, initial void ratio and normal pressure on the mechanical response has been investigated.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)80-104
Number of pages24
JournalInternational journal for numerical and analytical methods in geomechanics
Publication statusPublished - 10 Jun 2016


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