Life cycles of granular materials

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    6 Citations (Scopus)


    Granular materials occur in many geological and engineering situations. They can pass through distinct stages of existence separated by transitions of density, deformation rate and behaviour during which structure is alternately created or destroyed. Behaviour during one stage is dependent on the outcome of the previous stage.

    Much geotechnical design is concerned with small deformations of materials hich have been deposited by ice, water, air or human action and subjected to a history of tectonic and geomorphological forces. The till which has been continuously reworked by glacial action, or the sediment transported by water or air, becomes a firm foundation material but with an anisotropy of stiffness linked to the process of formation. However, earthquake loading can cause the same soils to liquefy and flow and some civil engineering applications involve large relative movements of soils and structural elements. As they are poured into a hopper, granular materials develop a structure which influences the development of stress on the walls of the hopper and the patterns of flow and loading during emptying.

    A generic life cycle for granular materials is presented and its application to a number of different types of material is discussed. Some phenomena observed in the mechanical response of geotechnical granular materials are described.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)2453-2470
    Number of pages18
    JournalPhilosophical Transactions of the Royal Society, London A
    Issue number1747
    Publication statusPublished - 15 Nov 1998


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