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Evolution of grain-size distribution of pumice sands in 1-D compression


Crushing is one of the micromechanisms that govern the mechanical behaviour of sands at medium-high stresses. It depends on mineralogy, form and strength of single particle, mean stress level, coordination number, time, etc.. It causes changes of grain-size distribution, porosity, number and type of grain contacts, fabric, structure of the material, etc.. Results of an experimental research on the crushing of pumice sands compressed under 1-D conditions to vertical effective stresses ′v up to 100 MPa are reported here. They show marked crushing already at ′v of about 200 kPa. The evolution of the grain-size distribution can be represented by Di= h/(K(1+C exp(–hlgv))) in which Di is the decrement of the generic characteristic diameter. C, h, K are positive parameters depending on the sand’s nature and initial state. This relation properly accounts for the existence of an upper limit to Di (or the existence of a limit grading). It is able also to describe the evolution of the global relative breakage indexes.