Influence of grading on the undrained behavior of granular materials

Y.-J. Liu, G. Li, Zhenyu Yin, C. Dano, P.-Y. Hicher, X.-H. Xia, J.-H. Wang

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

57 Citations (Scopus)


This paper aims at investigating the influence of grading on the undrained behavior of granular materials. Series of undrained triaxial tests were carried out with two different materials, glass balls and Hostun sand. For each material, samples with different gradings and similar relative densities were prepared. Experimental results show that the undrained shear strength decreases when the coefficient of uniformity Cu=d60/d10 increases from 1.1 to 20. The conditions of instability for the selected granular materials were also analyzed, based on the sign of the second-order work during undrained triaxial loading. The results demonstrate a significant influence of the grading: increasing the coefficient of uniformity heightens the potential of static liquefaction and the materials become more unstable. Furthermore, numerical tests using the three-dimensional discrete element method (DEM) were conducted on assemblies of spheres. The DEM inter-particle parameters were derived from the experimental test results on glass balls. The DEM simulations showed similar behaviors compared to experimental results and confirmed the influence of the grain size distribution on the stress-strain relationship and instability phenomena. © 2013 Académie des sciences.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)85-95
Number of pages11
JournalComptes Rendus - Mecanique
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • DEM
  • Grain size distribution
  • Granular material
  • Instability
  • Relative density
  • Undrained triaxial test

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Materials Science
  • Mechanics of Materials


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