Influence of microscale cohesive contacts on the macro-behaviour of soils through DEM investigation

Taylor & Francis
Publication Type:
Smart Geotechnics for Smart Societies, 2023, pp. 229-243
Issue Date:
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Microscale contacts are inherent in most geotechnical failures such as soil liquefaction, landslides and internal instability, thus study of these failures based on microscale concepts can significantly enhance our intrinsic understanding as well as the quality of prediction and designs. Despite rapidly increasing investigation on micro-mechanisms of soil failures, especially based on Discrete Element Method (DEM), cohesive behaviours of particles are usually ignored and simplified, resulting in incomplete and/or inaccurate understanding. My study aims to overcome this imperative limitation and improve our modelling capability by investigating the influence of microscale cohesive contacts on fundamental soil behaviours such as the formation of angle of repose and direct shear. Different degrees of cohesion between particles are incorporated into DEM models and the results are validated against experimental data. The results show cohesive contacts can significantly affect soil behaviour and the predicted outcomes if they are not considered properly. The prediction capability of this DEM model can be further applied to study the cohesive behaviour of geomaterials in various geotechnical problems such as soil clogging and debris flow.
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