Minimum cut and shear bands

David M. Walker, A Tordesillas, A Cramer

Research output: Chapter in Book/Conference paperConference paperpeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


We explore the efficacy of network optimisation theory for minimum cut to quantify the evolution of granular fabric and
its functionality as a transmission medium in deforming dense granular media. Our focus here is on force transmission in a
sheared assembly of polydisperse particles, in a biaxial compression test under constant confining pressure. The granular
fabric is examined with respect to the material’s force-bearing contact network over that regime when the material has
reached its residual strength, and is deforming under a near constant volume in the presence of a fully developed shear
band. The structural evolution of the fabric is quantitatively characterized using a representative weighted-directed network that is similarly evolving as the sample deforms. The edges or links, representing the interparticle contacts, are each weighted by the capacity of the contact to transmit force: a scalar that depends solely on the relative motion of the contacting grains. In the large strain failure regime, the minimum cut which represents the bottleneck in force transmission is found to lie in the persistent shear band. This study paves the way for the future analysis of flows and force transmission through an evolving
contact network and, in turn, the characterisation of the relationship between the material’s contact topology and its capacity to transmit forces through its contact network.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationPowders And Grains 2013
Subtitle of host publicationProceedings of the 7th International Conference on Micromechanics of Granular Media
Place of PublicationNew York
PublisherAmerican Institute of Physics
Number of pages4
ISBN (Print)97807354111661
Publication statusPublished - 2013
Externally publishedYes
Event7th International Conference on Micromechanics of Granular Media - Sydney, Australia
Duration: 8 Jul 201312 Jul 2013


Conference7th International Conference on Micromechanics of Granular Media


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