E3S Web Conf.
Volume 92, 20197th International Symposium on Deformation Characteristics of Geomaterials (IS-Glasgow 2019)
|Number of page(s)||6|
|Section||Discrete Element Modelling|
|Published online||25 June 2019|
An evaluation of contact models for particle-scale simulation of clay
Imperial College London, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, SW72AZ London, UK
2 Imperial College London, Department of Materials, SW72AZ London, UK
3 Imperial College London, Department of Physics, SW72AZ London, UK
* Corresponding author: email@example.com
Geotechnical engineers are well aware that the particle surface chemistry and the pore fluid composition can significantly influence the mechanical behaviour of clay. Reference is often made to the Derjaguin-Landau-Vervey-Overbeek (DLVO) theory, which enables the electrochemical interactions between charged particles to be estimated. Hitherto, the absence of an effective framework for particle-scale simulation of clay has inhibited a direct link between these electrochemical interactions and clay behaviour (e.g. load:deformation response) or fabric (i.e. the development of a disperse or flocculated fabric). Ebrahimi  demonstrated the viability of using molecular dynamics simulations where the clay grains are simulated as ellipsoidal particles whose interactions are described by an analytical expression called the Gay-Berne (GB) potential. While promising when compared to other approaches documented in the literature, Ebrahimi's work considered only a single clay mineralogy and did not explicitly account for the pore fluid composition. This paper considers the use of the Gay-Berne potential in particle-scale modelling of clay from a more general perspective. Calibration of the GB model parameters to predict kaolinite particle interactions reveals a lack of generality in Ebrahimi's approach. The Gay-Berne potential cannot simulate situations in which attractive and repulsive interactions co-exist, which lead to the classical “cardhouse” fabric, as is the case of kaolinite particles interacting via an acidic pore fluid.
© The Authors, published by EDP Sciences, 2019
This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
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