Experimental and numerical determination of representative elementary volume for granular plant materials


J. Favier, J. WiÄ…cek, J.Y. Ooi, M. Molenda




Granular Matter



A series of physical and numerical tests were conducted to determine representative elementary volume of granular plant material. The load response of pea grain assembly poured into a cuboid test chamber and subjected to uniaxial confined compression was studied. The apparatus was equipped with adjustable side walls that allowed measurement of boundary stresses in samples of varying thickness.It was found that load distribution varied considerably in samples of thickness smaller than three times the size of the particle. Less pressure variation was observed in grain assemblies of thickness equaled to three, five and seven times the particle size. Comparison between experimental data and numerical DEM results have shown qualitative agreement.It was found that the specimen of dimension not smaller than five times the particle size can be used as a representative elementary volume in confined uniaxial compression test of granular plant materials.


Discrete element method, Grain bedding, Representative elementary volume, Sample size effect, Uniaxial confined compression

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