Evolution of fabric anisotropy of granular soils: x-ray tomography measurements and theoretical modelling

Chao Fa Zhao, Gustavo Pinzón, Max Wiebicke, Edward Andò, Niels P. Kruyt, Gioacchino Viggiani*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)
48 Downloads (Pure)


Fabric anisotropy is a key component to understand the behaviour of granular soils. In general, experimental data on fabric anisotropy for real granular soils are very limited, especially in the critical state. In this paper, x-ray tomography measurements are used to provide experimental data on contact fabric anisotropy inside shear bands for two granular soils. The data are then used to assess the validity of Anisotropic Critical State Theory (ACST) and the accuracy of a fabric evolution law that was previously developed from the results of DEM simulations on idealised materials. Overall, the experimental results support ACST according to which unique (i.e., independent of initial conditions) values for fabric anisotropy and coordination number are observed at large strains. With increasing roundness of the material, the rate at which the critical state is approached increases. The evolution of fabric anisotropy measured from the experiments is fairly well reproduced by the proposed evolution law.

Original languageEnglish
Article number104046
JournalComputers and Geotechnics
Early online date1 Mar 2021
Publication statusPublished - May 2021


  • Anisotropic critical state theory
  • Fabric anisotropy
  • Granular soils
  • Shear band
  • X-ray tomography


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