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Prise en compte d'une échelle mésoscopique dans l'étude du comportement des milieux granulaires

Abstract : The technique of change of scales has been extensively developed in the literature to describe the global behaviour of granular materials taking into account their local properties. This method usually considers two scales : the macroscopic scale at the level of representative elementary volume and the microscopic scale at the level of contact between particles. The major difficulty of this "micro-macro" change of scales lies in the definition of the macroscopic strain : indeed, the macroscopic stress is clearly defined from contact forces while it is not appropriate to derive the macroscopic strain from the kinematics at contacts. In this framework, this work proposes to introduce a third scale called mesoscopic scale. This scale, at which both stress and strain can be defined, is intermediate between macroscopic and microscopic scales and allows to overcome the major difficulty mentioned above. The mesoscopic scale is defined at the level of local arrangements of particles, called sub-domains, and its relevance is studied on numerical 2D and 3D materials composed of circular then spherical particles, simulated with the discrete element method. Bidimensional media are geometrically represented by a particle graph composed of closed sub-domains, also called void cells, whose border is constituted by the branches joining the centers of particles in contact : the mesoscopic scale is thus defined at the level of these closed void cells. At this local scale, we fist describe the structure of the medium in terms of density and fabric ; we define then the static and kinematic variables in terms of stress and of strain. Strong heterogeneities of granular media in terms of structure, stress and strain are highlighted at this scale, with a structuration of heterogeneities of stress and strain and a significant correlation between these two quantities. Concerning tridimensional media, a partition into closed void cells is impossible, because of the complexity of the 3D structure of these media. We propose a partition method based on the distribution of voids inside the medium. This method consists first in subdividing the medium into tetrahedrons by a Delaunay partition and then in associating neighbouring tetrahedrons, according to a criterion to be defined. This allows us to form sub-domains which are not closed but which play a role analogous to the role of closed sub-domains in the 2D study. The proposed association criterion is based on the ratio between the size of constriction (void on each face of tetrahedrons) and the size of pores around each constriction. This partition method constitutes a preliminary step for an extension of the results obtained in the bidimensional case to the tridimensional case.
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Ngoc-Son Nguyen. Prise en compte d'une échelle mésoscopique dans l'étude du comportement des milieux granulaires. Sciences de l'ingénieur [physics]. Ecole Centrale de Lyon, 2009. Français. ⟨NNT : 2009ECDL0029⟩. ⟨tel-00564501⟩

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