Modelling of cutting tool - soil interaction - Part I: Contact behaviour

A. Nardin, G. Zavarise, B. A. Schrefler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


The unknown interaction of the cutting tools with geological settings represents an interesting problem for the excavation machinery industry. To simplify the non-linear aspects involved in the numerical analysis of such phenomena a strategy for an accurate soil modelling has to be defined. A possible approach is the discrete one, by considering the soil as an assembly of rigid spheres. In this work this strategy is adopted. The basic idea is to concentrate at the contact level between the spheres the real mechanical behaviour of the soil. For this purpose suitable contact models have been developed, where specific elasto-plastic laws have been implemented in the node-to-segment contact formulation. The framework for the plastic behaviour consists of a failure criterion, a one-dimensional, rate-independent elasto-plastic flow rule for the normal and the tangential force and a non-linear yield criterion. The final aim of this paper is to develop mechanical models to study the behaviour of stiff soils and rocks under different loading conditions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)327-339
Number of pages13
JournalComputational Mechanics
Issue number3-4
StatePublished - Jul 2003


  • Contact mechanics
  • Elasto-plastic macromechanical model
  • Elasto-plastic micromechanical model
  • Envelope curve
  • Failure criterion
  • Granular media
  • Rock
  • Stiff clay

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Computational Mechanics
  • Applied Mathematics
  • Safety, Risk, Reliability and Quality


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