Stresses in granular materials

David Muir Wood, Danuta Lesniewska

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    45 Citations (Scopus)


    When circularly polarised light is passed through a granular material under boundary stresses patterns-'light stripes'aEuro"are seen in the resulting images which have been traditionally associated with the directions of major principal stresses in the equivalent continuum. In this paper the passage of polarised light through a single spherical particle under stress is studied experimentally and analytically. The effect of placing the particle within a layer of particles, a layer of thickness 2-3 particles, and within a mass of particles is investigated experimentally. The appearance of light stripes is a visual reinforcement of effects seen at the particle level provided the level of stresses in individual particles is low. The implications for quantitative photoelastic interpretation of granular media are discussed.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)395-415
    Number of pages21
    JournalGranular Matter
    Issue number4
    Publication statusPublished - Aug 2011


    • Glass particles
    • Photoelasticity
    • Stress distribution
    • Particulate material
    • FLOW


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