A multiscale work-analysis approach for geotechnical structures

Hao Xiong, Zhen Yu Yin, François Nicot

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

24 Citations (Scopus)


This paper presents a second-order work analysis in application to geotechnical problems by using a novel effective multiscale approach. To abandon complicated equations involved in conventional phenomenological models, this multiscale approach employs a micromechanically-based formulation, in which only four parameters are involved. The multiscale approach makes it possible a coupling of the finite element method (FEM) and the micromechanically-based model. The FEM is used to solve the boundary value problem (BVP) while the micromechanically-based model is utilized at the Gauss point of the FEM. Then, the multiscale approach is used to simulate a three-dimensional triaxial test and a plain-strain footing. On the basis of the simulations, material instabilities are analyzed at both mesoscale and global scale. The second-order work criterion is then used to analyze the numerical results. It opens a road to interpret and understand the micromechanisms hiding behind the occurrence of failure in geotechnical issues.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1230-1250
Number of pages21
JournalInternational Journal for Numerical and Analytical Methods in Geomechanics
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 25 Apr 2019


  • failure
  • granular materials
  • instability
  • micromechanics
  • multiscale approach
  • second-order work

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computational Mechanics
  • General Materials Science
  • Geotechnical Engineering and Engineering Geology
  • Mechanics of Materials


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