Granular materials reach critical states upon shearing. The position and shape of a critical state line (CSL) in the compression plane are important for constitutive models, interpretation of in situ tests and liquefaction analyses. It is not fully clear how grain crushing may affect the identification and uniqueness of the CSL in granular soils. Discrete-element simulations are used here to establish the relation between breakage-induced grading evolution and the CSL position in the compression plane. An efficient model of particle breakage is applied to perform a large number of tests, in which grading evolution is continuously tracked using a grading index. Using both previous and new experimental results, the discrete-element model is calibrated and validated to represent Fontainebleau sand, a quartz sand. The results obtained show that, when breakage is present, the inclusion of a grading index in the description of critical states is advantageous. This can be simply done using the critical state plane (CSP) concept. A CSP is obtained for Fontainebleau sand.
- Discrete-element modelling
- Particle crushing/crushability
- Shear strength
- Stress path