Dynamic instabilities of model granular materials

Abstract : This thesis reports a laboratory study on the dynamic instabilities of model saturated granular material using a triaxial apparatus. The term instability consists of isotropic collapse and liquefaction under isotropic compression and of stick-slip under triaxial compression in drained condition. The instabilities spontaneously occur at unpredictable effective stress with unexpected buildup of excess pore pressure irrespective of fully drained condition, contrasting with the instability-free behaviour of natural granular materials. In isotropic compression, instantaneous local collapse happens and in triaxial compression, very large and quasi-periodic stick-slip occurs with sudden volumetric compaction and axial contraction. Sometimes, these local failures (collapse and stick-slip) can develop into total liquefaction failure, destroying completely the granular structure. High time-resolved data permit the discovery of a new family of dynamic and static liquefaction. Passive acoustic measurements allow the identification of typical spectral signature. For stick-slip phenomenon, the slip phase with constant duration of stress drop can be interpreted as dynamic consolidation at constant deviatoric stress, limited by a unique boundary inside the critical state line in the effective stress plane. The precise temporal sequence of mechanical measurements excludes the generated pore pressure as the main cause of the instabilities. However, the role of pore pressure is emphasised by consistent quantitative relations between the amplitude of incremental stresses, incremental strains and the ephemeral stabilised excess pore pressure developed during the dynamic event, leading to the quasi-deterministic nature of granular instabilities. These empirical relations are based only on the short-lived maximum vertical acceleration and governed separately by the confining pressure and the initial void ratio. The similarity of pore pressure evolution for different kinds of instability strongly suggests some common speculative triggering mechanisms, probably originated from different rearrangements of the granular micro-structure.
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Thi Thu Tra Nguyen. Dynamic instabilities of model granular materials. Mechanics of materials [physics.class-ph]. Université de Lyon, 2019. English. ⟨NNT : 2019LYSET007⟩. ⟨tel-02281748⟩

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