Multiscale characterization and modeling of granular materials through a computational mechanics avatar: a case study with experiment
Through a first-generation computational mechanics avatar that directly links advanced X-ray computed tomographic experimental techniques to a discrete computational model, we present a case study where we made the first attempt to characterize and model the grain-scale response inside the shear band of a real specimen of Caicos ooids subjected to triaxial compression. The avatar has enabled, for the first time, the transition from faithful representation of grain morphologies in X-ray tomograms of granular media to a morphologically accurate discrete computational model. Grain-scale information is extracted and upscaled into a continuum finite element model through a hierarchical multiscale scheme, and the onset and evolution of a persistent shear band is modeled, showing excellent quantitative agreement with experiment in terms of both grain-scale and continuum responses in the post-bifurcation regime. More importantly, consistency in results across characterization, discrete analysis and continuum response from multiscale calculations are found, achieving the first and long sought-after quantitative breakthrough in grain-scale analysis of real granular materials.