Granular Matter

, 21:86 | Cite as

The influence of particle elongations on direct shear behaviour of granular materials using DEM

  • Shiva Prashanth Kumar Kodicherla
  • Guobin GongEmail author
  • Z. X. Yang
  • Kristian Krabbenhoft
  • Lei Fan
  • Charles K. S. Moy
  • Stephen Wilkinson
Original Paper


This study examines the influence of particle elongation on the direct shear behaviour of granular materials using the discrete element method. A series of numerical direct shear test simulations were performed, and both the macroscopic and microscopic behaviour of elongated assemblies at the critical state were examined. The macroscopic response of elongated particles exhibits an initial hardening followed by post-peak strain softening, prior to reaching the critical state. The peak state friction angles initially increase and stay stable as the dimensionless elongation parameter (\(\eta\)) increases, whereas the critical state friction angles increase with the increase of \(\eta\). Independent of the applied normal stresses, all samples reach a critical state at a unique normalized stress ratio (i.e., \(\tau /\sigma = 0.51\)) after ~ 25% shear strain. The stress-fabric relationship is mainly governed by the strong force subnetwork which is more affected by the change of η than the weak force subnetwork. Particle elongation generates a downward shifting of critical state lines (CSLs) in \(e - p^{{\prime }}\) space. Furthermore, the correlations between CSL parameters and \(\eta\) are well-fitted by a second-order polynomial function. These findings highlight the significance of particle elongation on direct shear behaviour of granular materials.


DEM Direct shear test Critical state Fabric tensor Strong and weak force subnetworks 



The authors would like to express their gratitude for providing the financial support from National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant Nos: NSFC 51578499 and 51825803) and Xi’an Jiaotong – Liverpool University (RDF-14-02-44, RDF-15-01-38 and RDF-18-01-23). Also, the fundings supported by Key Program Special Fund in XJTLU (Grant No: KSF-E-19) and Natural Science Foundation of Jiangsu Province (Grant No: BK20160393) are greatly appreciated.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Civil EngineeringXi’an Jiaotong – Liverpool University (XJTLU)SuzhouPeople’s Republic of China
  2. 2.Department of Civil EngineeringZhejiang UniversityHangzhouPeople’s Republic of China
  3. 3.Department of Civil Engineering and Industrial DesignUniversity of Liverpool (UoL)LiverpoolUK
  4. 4.Department of Civil EngineeringUniversity of WollongongDubaiUAE

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