Changes to Grain Properties due to Breakage in a Sand Assembly using Synchrotron Tomography
1 Department of Civil & Construction Engineering, Faculty of Science, Engineering & Technology, Swinburne University of Technology, Hawthorn, Victoria, Australia
2 Department of Infrastructure Engineering, Melbourne School of Engineering, The University of Melbourne, Parkville, Victoria, Australia
* Corresponding author: firstname.lastname@example.org
Published online: 30 June 2017
Grain breakage is of paramount importance for understanding the behaviour of granular materials used in various engineering applications, such as pavements, roads, rail tracks, the oil and gas industry, and mineral processing. Changes to grain properties of a uniformly graded sand specimen stemming from breakage during compression were studied with the aid of three-dimensional Synchrotron Radiation-based Micro-Computed Tomography. The fast scanning and high-resolution 4D imaging were utilised to capture images from the interior body of the granular assembly during loading. The fractal distribution of the sand assembly showed that breakage becomes dominant in smaller grains rather than larger ones, where an increase in the amount of newly generated fine fragments leads to high coordination number surrounding the larger grains. More importantly, the results of morphological changes in the particulate assembly revealed that there is a reversal trend in the grain morphology evolution with increasing stress. The sand grains tended to create more spherical fragments with higher aspect ratio whereas by increasing the stress this trend completely shifted.
© The Authors, published by EDP Sciences, 2017
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