Acta Mechanica

, Volume 205, Issue 1–4, pp 9–21 | Cite as

Failure of cemented granular materials under simple compression: experiments and numerical simulations

  • J. -Y. Delenne
  • V. Topin
  • F. Radjai


We investigate the strength and failure properties of a model cemented granular material under simple compressive deformation. The particles are lightweight expanded clay aggregate beads coated by a controlled volume fraction of silicone. The beads are mixed with a joint seal paste (the matrix) and molded to obtain dense cemented granular samples of cylindrical shape. Several samples are prepared for different volume fractions of the matrix, controlling the porosity, and silicone coating upon which depends the effective particle–matrix adhesion. Interestingly, the compressive strength is found to be an affine function of the product of the matrix volume fraction and effective particle–matrix adhesion. On the other hand, it is shown that particle damage occurs beyond a critical value of the contact debonding energy. The experiments suggest three regimes of crack propagation corresponding to no particle damage, particle abrasion and particle fragmentation, respectively, depending on the matrix volume fraction and effective particle–matrix adhesion. We also use a sub-particle lattice discretization method to simulate cemented granular materials in two dimensions. The numerical results for crack regimes and the compressive strength are in excellent agreement with the experiments.


Compressive Strength Granular Material Particle Volume Fraction Effective Particle Silicone Coating 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.LMGC, UMR 5508 CNRS, Université Montpellier 2Montpellier Cedex 5France
  2. 2.MIST, IRSN CNRS, DPAMMontpellier Cedex 5France
  3. 3.IATE, CNRS, INRAMontpellier Cedex 1France

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