Exploring the micromechanics of non-active clays by way of virtual DEM experiments

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

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

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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 by way of 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 provided by Pedrotti and Tarantino in 2017 (particle-to-particle interactions were probed experimentally by varying the pore-fluid chemistry, and the resulting effect was explored by way of 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.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-14
Number of pages14
JournalGeotechnique
Volume0
Issue number0
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print/First online - 6 Mar 2019

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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

Cite this

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title = "Exploring the micromechanics of non-active clays by way of 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 by way of 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 provided by Pedrotti and Tarantino in 2017 (particle-to-particle interactions were probed experimentally by varying the pore-fluid chemistry, and the resulting effect was explored by way of 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 by way of virtual DEM experiments. / Pagano, Arianna Gea; Magnanimo, Vanessa; Weinhart, Thomas; Tarantino, Alessandro.

In: Geotechnique, Vol. 0, No. 0, 06.03.2019, p. 1-14.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

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