Characterization of mesoscale instabilities in localized granular shear using digital image correlation Academic Article uri icon


  • Within shear bands in sands, deformation is largely non-affine, stemming primarily from buckling of well-known force chains and also from vortex-like structures. In the spirit of current trends toward multiscale modeling, understanding the links between these mesoscale deformational entities and corresponding macroscale response will form the basis for the next generation of sand behavioral models and may also aid in efforts to understand jamming-unjamming transitions in dense granular flows in general. Experimental methods to quantify and characterize such subscale kinematics, in particular in real sands, will play critical roles in these efforts. Digital Image Correlation (DIC) is a fast growing experimental technique to nondestructively measure surface displacements from digital images. Here, DIC has been employed to identify and characterize the development of vortex structures inside shear bands formed in dense sands during plane strain compression. A rigorous assessment of the DIC method has been performed, in particular for subscale behavioral characterization in unbonded granular solids, and guidelines are offered for accurate implementation. While DIC systematically overestimates shear band thickness, a methodology has been devised to compensate for this overestimation. Shear band thickness for four different uniform sands were found to range between 6 and 9 grain diameters, and for a well-graded sand between 8 and 9. 5 grain diameters. These determinations agree with visual inspections of grain kinematics from the image data, as well as recent theoretical predictions. 2011 Springer-Verlag.

published proceedings

  • Acta Geotechnica

author list (cited authors)

  • Rechenmacher, A. L., Abedi, S., Chupin, O., & Orlando, A. D.

citation count

  • 48

complete list of authors

  • Rechenmacher, Amy L||Abedi, Sara||Chupin, Olivier||Orlando, AndrĂ©s D

publication date

  • December 2011