Observations on the effects of particle rotations on the failure of idealized granular materials

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165 Scopus citations


Based on the computer simulations of biaxial tests, particle rotations are shown to have little influence on the elastic properties of idealized granular materials, but significant effects on their shear strength. The overall peak and residual friction angles, øp and ør, are smaller than the interparticle friction angle øμ because of the concentration of rotations in shear bands. When particle rotations are artificially prevented, øp and ør, become larger than øμ and the localized failure patterns become different from those observed experimentally in granular media. The average particle rotation remains small in the complete biaxial specimen, but increases in shear bands. The particle rotations follow an exponential distribution independent of the axial strain. Particle rotations induce twice as many rolling contacts as sliding contacts. Compared to sliding contacts, rolling contacts are oriented differently, generate different fabric tensors, and are less capable of dissipating energy and supporting inclined contact forces.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)159-182
Number of pages24
JournalMechanics of Materials
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jul 1994
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Materials Science(all)
  • Instrumentation
  • Mechanics of Materials


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