A micro-mechanical approach for the study of contact erosion

Galindo-Torres, S. A., Scheuermann, A., Muhlhaus, H. B. and Williams, D. J. (2013) A micro-mechanical approach for the study of contact erosion. Acta Geotechnica, 10 3: 357-368. doi:10.1007/s11440-013-0282-z

Author Galindo-Torres, S. A.
Scheuermann, A.
Muhlhaus, H. B.
Williams, D. J.
Title A micro-mechanical approach for the study of contact erosion
Journal name Acta Geotechnica   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1861-1125
Publication date 2013-12-08
Year available 2013
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1007/s11440-013-0282-z
Open Access Status Not yet assessed
Volume 10
Issue 3
Start page 357
End page 368
Total pages 12
Place of publication Heidelberg, Germany
Publisher Springer
Language eng
Abstract In the present paper, a simulation framework is presented coupling the mechanics of fluids and solids to study the contact erosion phenomenon. The fluid is represented by the lattice Boltzmann method (LBM), and the soil particles are modelled using the discrete element method (DEM). The coupling law considers accurately the momentum transfer between both phases. The scheme is validated by running simulations of the drag coefficient and the Magnus effect for spheres and comparing the observations with results found in the literature. Once validated, a soil composed of particles of two distinct sizes is simulated by the DEM and then hydraulically loaded with an LBM fluid. It is observed how the hydraulic gradient compromises the stability of the soil by pushing the smaller particles into the voids between the largest ones. The hydraulic gradient is more pronounced in the areas occupied by the smallest particles due to a reduced constriction size, which at the same time increases the buoyancy acting on them. At the mixing zone, where both particle sizes coexist, the fluid transfers its momentum to the small particles, increasing the erosion rate in the process. Moreover, the particles show an increase in their angular velocity at the mixing zone, which implies that the small particles roll over the large ones, greatly reducing the friction between them. The results offer new insights into the erosion and suffusion processes, which could be used to better predict and design structures on hydraulically loaded soils.
Keyword Contact erosion
Discrete element method
Lattice Boltzmann method
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ
Additional Notes Published online: 8 December 2013.

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: School of Civil Engineering Publications
Official 2014 Collection
Earth Systems Science Computational Centre Publications
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Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 9 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
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Created: Tue, 24 Dec 2013, 23:19:19 EST by Jeannette Watson on behalf of School of Civil Engineering