On the interface shearing behavior between granular soil and artificial rough surfaces

Xue Ying Jing, Wan Huan Zhou, Hua Xiang Zhu, Zhen Yu Yin, Yangmin Li

Research output: Chapter in book / Conference proceedingConference article published in proceeding or bookAcademic researchpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


The soil-structural interface is involved in many geotechnical engineering problems. Previous investigations have mainly relied on the macro-scale observations from laboratory experiment. However, soil is a type of granular material, and recent research works reveal that the macroscopic responses of granular materials originate from the evolution of the microstructures. Therefore, to understand well the shearing behavior of soil adjacent to an artificial interface, it is necessary to explore this problem on the particle scale. In this study, an interface shear test is modeled using the three-dimensional discrete element method. Five shear boxes of distinct size are modeled to verify the scale effect. According to the comparison between the interface shear tests in terms of computation time, shear strength measured on the interface and volumetric strain of the specimen, an interface shear box containing 14,000 particles is sufficient for this study. Then, a series of three-dimensional interface shear tests with distinct normalized roughness “Rn” is modeled. The results show that (1) two failure modes exist in an interface shear test, elastic-perfectly plastic for a smooth surface and stress softening observed for a rough surface, and (2) the shear strength of the soil-structural interface increases with the increasing of the roughness of the interface. The displacement field is obtained by interpolating the movement of each particle. The field of ux(displacement in the direction of shearing) indicates that a narrow zone of intense shearing deformation, called the shear band, emerges from the contact interface and expands during the shearing process. A discontinuous feature is characterized after the shear band appears.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationAdvances in Laboratory Testing and Modelling of Soils and Shales, ATMSS 2017
PublisherSpringer Verlag
Number of pages8
ISBN (Print)9783319527727
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2017
Externally publishedYes
EventInternational Workshop on Advances in Laboratory Testing and Modelling of Soils and Shales, ATMSS 2017 - Villars-sur-Ollon, Switzerland
Duration: 18 Jan 201720 Jan 2017

Publication series

NameSpringer Series in Geomechanics and Geoengineering
ISSN (Print)1866-8755
ISSN (Electronic)1866-8763


ConferenceInternational Workshop on Advances in Laboratory Testing and Modelling of Soils and Shales, ATMSS 2017


  • Discrete element method
  • Formation of shear band
  • Scale effect
  • Soil-rough interface

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geotechnical Engineering and Engineering Geology
  • Mechanics of Materials

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