Mixtures of hard and soft grains: micromechanical behavior at large strains

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In this paper, several simulations involving the compaction and the shearing of mixtures of hard and soft grains are performed in 2D plane-strain conditions. The multibody meshfree numerical tool developed for this purpose is first presented, and the focus is then put on the influence of the proportions of rigid and deformable grains in the mixture on the mechanical response at large strains. Dedicated postprocessing techniques reveal a wide range of behaviors, both in terms of macroscopic response and in micromechanical phenomena. Broadly speaking, the strength and the dilatancy of the mixture decrease when the proportion of soft grains is increased. There are, however, interesting exceptions to this trend at very high and very low contents of soft grains, which are analyzed in dedicated sections. This preliminary work paves the way to more comprehensive studies of this class of materials, which is still hardly understood but presents some potential in a wide range of applications.

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Valuable and useful comments by the two anonymous reviewers are gratefully acknowledged by the author.

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Correspondence to Guilhem Mollon.

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The author acknowledges that this study contains original material, as a result of a purely academic study without any kind of private funding or conflict of interest. Its publication has been approved tacitly by the responsible authorities at the institute where the work has been carried out.

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Mollon, G. Mixtures of hard and soft grains: micromechanical behavior at large strains. Granular Matter 20, 39 (2018) doi:10.1007/s10035-018-0812-3

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  • Granular materials
  • Soft and hard mixtures
  • Deformable grains
  • Meshfree methods
  • Discrete Element Modeling
  • Large strain behavior