Effects of grain morphology on critical state: a computational analysis
We introduce a new DEM scheme (LS-DEM) that takes advantage of level sets to enable the inclusion of real grain shapes into a classical discrete element method. Then, LS-DEM is validated and calibrated with respect to real experimental results. Finally, we exploit part of LS-DEM potentiality by using it to study the dependency of critical state (CS) parameters such as critical state line (CSL) slope λ, CSL intercept Γ, and CS friction angle Φ_(CS) on the grain's morphology, i.e., sphericity, roundness, and regularity. This study is carried out in three steps. First, LS-DEM is used to capture and simulate the shape of five different two-dimensional cross sections of real grains, which have been previously classified according to the aforementioned morphological features. Second, the same LS-DEM simulations are carried out for idealized/simplified grains, which are morphologically equivalent to their real counterparts. Third, the results of real and idealized grains are compared, so the effect of "imperfections" on real particles is isolated. Finally, trends for the CS parameters (CSP) dependency on sphericity, roundness, and regularity are obtained as well as analyzed. The main observations and remarks connecting particle's morphology, particle's idealization, and CSP are summarized in a table that is attempted to help in keeping a general picture of the analysis, results, and corresponding implications.