The significance of relative density for particle damage in loaded and sheared gravels
1 The School of Engineering, University of Newcastle, University Drive, Callaghan, Australia, 2308.
2 Kandó Kálmán Electrical Engineering Faculty, Obuda University BMF, Bp., Hungary
* Corresponding author: firstname.lastname@example.org
Published online: 30 June 2017
For granular assemblages of strong particles, an increase in the relative density usually leads to a significant increase in shear strength, which is evident as a peak strength, accompanied by significant dilation as the peak strength is attained. This paper describes an experimental study of shearing in assemblages of weak particles, where particle breakage offsets dilation for all but the lowest of confining stresses. In such materials, prone to particle breakage, the shear strengths of loose and dense assemblages rapidly converge to similar values as confining stress increases, and any benefit of greater relative density is lost. This is attributed to the densification effect associated with the loading under a high stress prior to shearing, which is characterised by widespread particle breakage and the formation of smaller particles to occupy space between coarser ones. Interestingly, under both low and high stresses, there was a tendency for greater particle breakage in the loose samples, as a result of both shearing and compression. This result suggests that, despite the denser assemblage having its particles more rigidly constrained and less able to rearrange to avoid direct loading, the influence of greater load-spreading capacity afforded by an increased number of particle contacts in a denser sample, is more dominant in controlling breakage.
© The Authors, published by EDP Sciences, 2017
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