Discrete element simulation of the effect of particle size on the size of fracture process zone in quasi-brittle materials

Ali Tarokh, Ali Fakhimi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Experimental tests performed on quasi-brittle materials show that a process zone develops ahead of a crack tip. This zone can affect the strength and the deformation pattern of a structure. A discrete element approach with a softening contact bond model is utilized to simulate the development of the fracture process zone in the three-point bending tests. Samples with different dimensions and particle sizes are generated and tested. It is shown that as the material brittleness decreases, the width of the process zone becomes more dependent on the specimen size. Furthermore, the increase in the particle size, results in increase in the width of the process zone. A dimensional analysis together with the numerical results shows that the width of process zone is a linear function of particle size (radius). This finding is discussed and compared with published experimental data in the literature.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)51-60
Number of pages10
JournalComputers and Geotechnics
Volume62
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 2014

Keywords

  • Bonded-particle model (BPM)
  • Brittleness number
  • Fracture process zone (FPZ)
  • Particle size
  • Specimen size

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