The influence of “up-scaling” on the results of particle method calculations of non-cohesive soils
From a theoretical point of view particle or discrete element methods should be more suitable for the modeling of the behavior of non-cohesive soils like sand or gravel than approaches based on the continuum theory. But, for a practical calculation it is necessary to “up-scale” the grain diameters of the soil. In this paper the effect of the scaling factor on the results of calculations with the particle method is investigated and analyzed. Triaxial tests of sand with a given grain size distribution are modeled using different scaling factors. The model parameters are calibrated by comparing the numerical results with experimental results. Additionally, an odometer test is being modeled using the calibrated parameters for the different scaling factors. The results show that a remarkable scale effect exists. Thus, the parameters of the model have to be adapted by means of a new calibration procedure if the scaling factor is changed.