On the determination and evolution of fabric in representative elementary volumes for a sand specimen in triaxial compression

Research output: Contribution to journalResearch articleContributedpeer-review


The soil response in triaxial compression tests, that are commonly treated as element tests, is known to be inhomogeneous. Several studies have revealed the localisation of deformation throughout the whole specimen by digital image correlation techniques on X-ray tomographies. The fabric of a soil specimen has so far only been studied on complete specimens as a bulk measurement or in chosen subsets. In this contribution, we present a study on the spatial and temporal distribution of the fabric throughout one Hostun sand sample in triaxial compression. Therefore, we calibrated the minimum representative element size first for three chosen fabric variables considering three different criteria. By distributing the elements in a regular grid over the specimen, we are able to clearly identify the onset of the localisation in terms of void ratio, coordination number and contact fabric anisotropy. Spatially and temporally the contact fabric variables precede the void ratio changes as they are much more sensitive to small changes.


Original languageEnglish
Article number97
JournalGranular matter
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2022

External IDs

Scopus 85135789272
WOS 000838083700003
Mendeley ff310b4a-61c7-3b9e-952a-751d561db876
ORCID /0000-0002-9222-3361/work/142245047


DFG Classification of Subject Areas according to Review Boards


  • Fabric, Heterogeneity, Inter-particle contacts, REV, Sand, X-ray CT