Numerical simulation of the effect of grain fragmentation on the evolution of microstructure quantities

Erich Bauer*, Saeed Safikhani, Linke Li

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In this paper the effect of grain fragmentation of a cohesionless granular material on the change of microstructure quantities is investigated using a micropolar continuum model. To this end the change of the grain size distribution is related in a simplified manner to a reduction of the mean grain diameter, which enters the constitutive equation as the internal length. The additional densification of the grain skeleton is modelled by a reduction of the incremental stiffness, which is related to the so-called solid hardness defined in the sense of a continuum description. The reduction of the mean grain diameter and the solid hardness caused by grain fragmentation is described by corresponding evolution equations, which depend on an increasing mean pressure and an increasing deviatoric stress. The focus of the numerical investigations is on the evolution of microstructure quantities like the void ratio, mean grain diameter and couple stresses under monotonic compression. It is shown that for an initially inhomogeneous distribution of the void ratio polar quantities like microrotations and couple stresses can develop even outside of shear bands. With increasing compression the polar quantities can increase, while the range of fluctuation of the void ratio decreases.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)631-642
Number of pages12
Issue number4-5
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2019


  • Grain fragmentation
  • Granular materials
  • Micropolar continuum
  • Solid hardness

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering

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