The advantage of finite element method (μFE) simulation in geotechnical field and studying the granular behaviours is twofold: (a) a more accurate spatial distribution and morphologies of component grains are needed for discrete modelling of granular systems, which can now be achieved using μCT, and (b) the physics of granular behaviour can be more realistically represented through finite-element-method (FEM) based on deformable bodies. This μFE approach is to virtualize granular morphologies by meshing the component grains and permitting them to interact and deform in compliance with the appropriate model and frictional contact conditions. The contact response is caused by the deformation of contacting bodies, which constituted by each single unique contact surface. By using μFE approach, the underlying factors that dominate granular micro-scale behaviours can be well studied, and thus generating a potential to provide a better link between micro and macro scales. This method will furthermore contribute to the research of grains at yield condition, and thus the plastic behaviours such as particle breakage can be analysed.
The aim of my PhD project is to improve the simulation of granular materials by incorporating abrasion and fragmentation of particles in μFE approach. To this end, special attention will be given to the breakage of particles and to its effect on the overall mechanical and hydraulic behaviour on a scale of a bulk of particles.
China Scholarship Council – Newcastle University PhD Scholarships