DEM simulation of anisotropic granular materials: elastic and inelastic behavior

Giuseppina Recchia*, Vanessa Magnanimo, Hongyang Cheng, Luigi La Ragione

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)
60 Downloads (Pure)


In this work, Discrete Elements Method simulations are carried out to investigate the effective stiffness of an assembly of frictional, elastic spheres under anisotropic loading. Strain probes, following both forward and backward paths, are performed at several anisotropic levels and the corresponding stress is measured. For very small strain perturbations, we retrieve the linear elastic regime where the same response is measured when incremental loading and unloading are applied. Differently, for a greater magnitude of the incremental strain a different stress is measured, depending on the direction of the perturbation. In the case of unloading probes, the behavior stays elastic until non-linearity is reached.Under forward perturbations, the aggregate shows an intermediate inelastic stiffness, in which the main contribution comes from the normal contact forces. That is, when forward incremental probes are applied the behavior of anisotropic aggregates is an incremental frictionless behavior. In this regime we show that contacts roll or slide so the incremental tangential contact forces are zero. Graphical Abstract: [Figure not available: see fulltext.].

Original languageEnglish
Article number85
JournalGranular matter
Issue number4
Early online date30 Sept 2020
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2020


  • UT-Hybrid-D
  • Effective moduli
  • Granular materials
  • Micromechanics
  • Discrete element method

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