Access the full text.
Sign up today, get DeepDyve free for 14 days.
The soil water retention curve (SWRC) and unsaturated hydraulic conductivity (UHC) are crucial indices to assess hydraulic properties of porous media that primarily depend on the particle and pore size distributions. This study aims to present a method based on the discrete element model (DEM) and the typical Arya and Paris model (AP model) to numerically predict SWRC and UHC.Design/methodology/approachFirst, the DEM (PFC3D software) is used to construct the pore and particle size distributions in porous media. The number of particles is calculated according to the AP model, which can be applied to evaluate the relationship between the suction head and the moisture of porous media. Subsequently, combining critical path analysis (CPA) and fractal theory, the air entry value is applied to calculate the critical pore radius (CPR) and the critical volume fraction (CVF) for evaluating the unsaturated hydraulic conductivity.FindingsThis method is validated against the experimental results of 11 soils from the clay loam to the sand, and then the scaling parameter in the AP model and critical volume fraction value for many types of soils are presented for reference; subsequently, the gradation effect on hydraulic property of soils is analyzed. Furthermore, the calculation for unbound graded aggregate (UGA) material as a special case and a theoretical extension are provided.Originality/valueThe presented study provides an important insight into the relationship between the heterogeneous particle and hydraulic properties by the DEM and sheds light on the directions for future study of a method to investigate the hydraulic properties of porous media.
Engineering Computations – Emerald Publishing
Published: Aug 15, 2019
Keywords: Porous media; Particle size distribution; Critical path analysis; Fractal theory; Soil water retention curve; Unsaturated hydraulic conductivity; Critical volume fraction
Read and print from thousands of top scholarly journals.
Already have an account? Log in
Bookmark this article. You can see your Bookmarks on your DeepDyve Library.
To save an article, log in first, or sign up for a DeepDyve account if you don’t already have one.
To subscribe to email alerts, please log in first, or sign up for a DeepDyve account if you don’t already have one.
Copy and paste the desired citation format or use the link below to download a file formatted for EndNote
Reference ManagersExport to EndNote
To get new article updates from a journal on your personalized homepage, please log in first, or sign up for a DeepDyve account if you don’t already have one.