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Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/1807/17250

Title: 3D Finite Element Cosserat Continuum Simulation of Layered Geomaterials
Authors: Riahi Dehkordi, Azadeh
Advisor: Curran, John H.
Department: Civil Engineering
Keywords: Cosserat continuum
finite element
layered geomaterial
micropolar theory
explicit joint
discrete element modelling
Issue Date: 26-Feb-2009
Abstract: The goal of this research is to develop a robust, continuum-based approach for a three-dimensional, Finite Element Method (FEM) simulation of layered geomaterials. There are two main approaches to the numerical modeling of layered geomaterials; discrete or discontinuous techniques and an equivalent continuum concept. In the discontinuous methodology, joints are explicitly simulated. Naturally, discrete techniques provide a more accurate description of discontinuous materials. However, they are complex and necessitate care in modeling of the interface. Also, in many applications, the definition of the input model becomes impractical as the number of joints becomes large. In order to overcome the difficulties associated with discrete techniques, a continuum-based approach has become popular in some application areas. When using a continuum model, a discrete material is replaced by a homogenized continuous material, also known as an 'equivalent continuum'. This leads to a discretization that is independent of both the orientation and spacing of layer boundaries. However, if the layer thickness (i.e., internal length scale of the problem) is large, the classical continuum approach which neglects the effect of internal characteristic length can introduce large errors into the solution. In this research, a full 3D FEM formulation for the elasto-plastic modeling of layered geomaterials is proposed within the framework of Cosserat theory. The effect of the bending stiffness of the layers is incorporated in the matrix of elastic properties. Also, a multi-surface plasticity model, which allows for plastic deformation of both the interfaces between the layers and intact material, is introduced. The model is verified against analytical solutions, discrete numerical models, and experimental data. It is shown that the FEM Cosserat formulation can achieve the same level of accuracy as discontinuous models in predicting the displacements of a layered material with a periodic microstructure. Furthermore, the method is capable of reproducing the strength behaviour of materials with one or more sets of joints. Finally, due to the incorporation of layer thickness into the constitutive model, the FEM Cosserat formulation is capable of capturing complicated failure mechanisms such as the buckling of individual layers of material which occur in stratified media.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/1807/17250
Appears in Collections:Doctoral
Department of Civil Engineering - Doctoral theses

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