Journal article

Multiscale characterisation of diffuse granular failure

Antoinette Tordesillas, Sebastian Pucilowski, Luc Sibille, Francois Nicot, Felix Darve



We study the evolution of structure inside a deforming, cohesionless granular material undergoing failure in the absence of strain localisation - so-called diffuse failure. The spatio-temporal evolution of the basic building blocks for self-organisation (i.e. force chains and minimal contact cycles) reveals direct insights into the structural origins of failure. Irrespective of failure mode, self-organisation is governed by the cooperative behaviour of truss-like 3-cycles providing lateral support to column-like force chains. The 3-cycles, which are initially in scarce supply, form a minority subset of the minimal contact cycle bases. At large length-scales (i.e. sample size), these structur..

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Awarded by US Army Research Office

Awarded by Australian Research Council

Funding Acknowledgements

AT and SP was supported by the US Army Research Office Grant (DAAD-W911NF1110175), the Australian Research Council Discovery Projects (DP0986876 and DP120104759), the Melbourne Energy Institute Major Research Projects and Initiatives, Development Support Fund, and the Gilbert Riggs PhD Scholarship (SP). We thank David M. Walker, Jacques Desrues and Pierre-Yves Hicher for insightful discussions.