DEM simulation of undrained behaviour with preshearing history for saturated granular media

Guobin Gong*, Xiaoxiong Zha

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)


This paper presents the results of the three-dimensional (3D) discrete element method (DEM) simulations of undrained axisymmetric/triaxial tests on loose assemblies of polydisperse spheres with and without preshearing history using a periodic cell. Undrained tests are modelled by deforming the samples under constant volume conditions. The simulations show that the preshearing process will not induce initial structural anisotropy, and that the presheared and unpresheared samples follow the same initial stress path along a unique limiting boundary in the q-p space, as observed in the published experimental literature, which was not crossed over by any of the stress paths of the presheared samples. It is also shown that the presheared samples are denser compared with the original unpresheared one, and therefore exhibit higher resistance to (temporary) liquefaction. At the grain scale, such higher resistance is found to be attributed to the evolution of a redundancy factor, a microscopic definition of liquefaction (temporary liquefaction). The Lade instability (peak deviator stress) is found to correspond to a unique mechanical coordination number of 4.5, independent of preshearing history. It is also found that the onset of liquefaction (temporary liquefaction) in terms of the redundancy factor lags behind the onset of macroscopic strain softening in terms of the Lade instability for the presheared and unpresheared samples under undrained conditions.

Original languageEnglish
Article number025001
JournalModelling and Simulation in Materials Science and Engineering
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2013
Externally publishedYes

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