Plasticity index effects on mechanical Bifurcation: Soils and soft-sediment deformation

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Yielded specimens have various deformation patterns depending on loading stages and stress ratios in spite of the same geomaterials (e.g. soils and soft-sediment). Failure patterns of materials bifurcationally change to diamond, bulge and a pair of oblique shear patterns. Symmetry of deformation patterns (e.g. shear band patterns) has been illuminated by bifurcation analysis of governing equation based on Cam-clay model. Plasticity index tested by Casagrande liquid limit device and plastic limit instruments is known to describe mechanical characteristics (e.g. compressibility) of soils. Relationship between plasticity index and mechanical bifurcation controls the evolution of deformation patterns. From the view point of concept of plastic potential, we show that plasticity index theoretically determines deformation patterns of soils on the basis of the bifurcation analysis. Furthermore, because deformation facies of rocks are described by mean ductility of rocks similar to the concept of plasticity index, we point out that mean ductility controls mechanical bifurcation of the geologic materials such as soft-sediments.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)19-25
Number of pages7
JournalInternational Journal of GEOMATE
Issue number36
Publication statusPublished - 2017 Aug 1


  • Bifurcation
  • Cam-clay model
  • Critical state soil theory
  • Plasticity index
  • Soil


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