Creep and fluidity of a granular packing under shear stress

Abstract : The main objective of the thesis was to identify experimentally the mechanical and rheological behavior of granular media in an environment varying in complexity. In particular, I was interested to creep phenomenon under stress in trying to understand better the impact of vibration and the presence of a small amount of water trapped between the grains. I set up a system to perform mechanical creep tests. Originality of my setup was the fluidized bed which uses air flow and vibration, and thus allows the control of the initial packing fraction. I studied the basic properties of creep strain of a granular resulting from a packing of glass beads of size d = 200 μm under the Coulomb threshold. This study showed that the Coulomb thresholds vary strongly with the packing fraction. In addition, it showed a stress called "the first rupture", that results from internal reorganizations in the granular medium and which is approximately 1/3 of the maximum stress threshold. Moreover, thanks to the precision of measuring deformation, we obtained the elastic response with small stress cycles, and we found that the shear elastic modulus G increases linearly with the packing fraction, in agreement with the model of nonlinear elasticity of Hertz (mean field). We performed a parametric study of creep in varying the packing fraction and shear stress. In all cases, we found the dynamics of logarithmic strain for long times. Our study on stress threshold, the elastic modulus and dynamics of creep, has been extended to granular medium under vibration generated by piezoelectric transducers buried under the surface. A small amount of water can be added and thus modifies the mechanical properties by the presence of capillary bridges. Preliminary experiments show the dependence of the Coulomb threshold of the elastic response and dynamic creep with an amount of water content.
Keywords : Capillary bridge
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Theses
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van Bau Nguyen. Creep and fluidity of a granular packing under shear stress. Earth Sciences. Université d'Orléans, 2011. English. ⟨NNT : 2011ORLE2027⟩. ⟨tel-00669822v2⟩

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