Discrete and continuum analysis of localised deformation in sand using X-ray mu CT and volumetric digital image correlation

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


The objective of this work was to observe and quantify the onset and evolution of localised deformation processes in sand with grain-scale resolution. The key element of the proposed approach is combining state-of-the-art X-ray micro tomography imaging with three-dimensional volumetric digital image correlation techniques. This allows not only the grain-scale details of a deforming sand specimen to be viewed, but also, and more importantly, the evolving three-dimensional displacement and strain fields throughout loading to be assessed. X-ray imaging and digital image correlation have been in the past applied individually to study sand deformation, but the combination of these two methods to study the kinematics of shear band formation at the grain scale is the first novel aspect of this work. Moreover, the authors have developed a completely original grain-scale volumetric digital image correlation method that permits the characterisation of the full kinematics (i.e. three-dimensional displacements and rotations) of all the individual sand grains in a specimen. The results obtained using the discrete volumetric digital image correlation confirm the importance of grain rotations associated with strain localisation.


  • Stephen Hall
  • M. Bornert
  • J. Desrues
  • Y. Pannier
  • N. Lenoir
  • G. Viggiani
  • P. Besuelle
External organisations
  • Joseph Fourier University
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Mechanical Engineering
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)315-322
Publication statusPublished - 2010
Publication categoryResearch
Externally publishedYes

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