Prediction of pressure and density dependent failure in sand-like granular materials under general stress conditions

Wenxiong Huang*, Erich Bauer, Scott W. Sloan

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This paper presents a theoretical study of failure modes in sand-like granular materials under general triaxial stress conditions based on a hypoplastic model and a bifurcation analysis. The well developed constitutive model contains the void ratio as a state variable which allows the pressure and density dependent behaviour of the granular materials to be described with a single set of state-independent constitutive parameters. Based on this model a shear bifurcation condition is derived. Loading along various stress paths that can be achieved with a true triaxial test apparatus are simulated numerically. Either localized failure or uniform diffuse failure in granular samples may occur, which is determined based on whether the shear bifurcation condition is met. Effects of confining pressure and initial density are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1243-1248
Number of pages6
JournalKey Engineering Materials
Volume340-341 II
Publication statusPublished - 16 Apr 2007


  • Bifurcation
  • Failure mode
  • Granular materials
  • Hypoplasticity
  • Shear localization

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Materials Science(all)
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering

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