Dry granular materials in a split-bottom ring shear cell geometry show wide shear bands under slow, quasi-static, large deformation. This system is studied in the presence of contact adhesion, using the discrete element method (DEM). Several continuum fields like the density, the deformation gradient and the stress tensor are computed locally and are analyzed with the goal to formulate objective constitutive relations for the flow behavior of cohesive powders. From a single simulation only, by applying time- and (local) space-averaging, and focusing on the regions of the system that experienced considerable deformations, the critical-state yield stress (termination locus) can be obtained. It is close to linear, for non-cohesive granular materials, and nonlinear with peculiar pressure dependence, for adhesive powders—due to the nonlinear dependence of the contact adhesion on the confining forces. The contact model is simplified and possibly will need refinements and additional effects in order to resemble realistic powders. However, the promising method of how to obtain a critical-state yield stress from a single numerical test of one material is generally applicable and waits for calibration and validation.
- Granular materials – Split-bottom shear bands – Inter-particle adhesive forces