The macroscopic response of geomaterials is controlled by the processes occurring at the microscale. Understanding these processes is key to interpret experimental data, to inform ‘continuum’ macroscopic constitutive models, and to develop quantitative predictive tools based on Discrete Element Method (DEM) approaches.
For the case of granular materials, microscale mechanisms have been investigated experimentally in terms of inter-particle forces and particle kinematics and these have been translated into DEM models, which have been used as a virtual laboratory to investigate fundamental aspects of the macroscopic behaviour of granular materials. On the other hand, microscale processes in clays, strongly affected by the complex pore-fluid dependant interactions arising between particles, cannot be easily investigated experimentally in a direct fashion due to the small size of clay particles. Despite 100 years of research on the macro-mechanical behaviour of clay, we are still largely ignoring underlying mechanisms at the particle scale.
The purpose of the workshop is to gather researchers working on various aspects of clay micromechanics, and researchers from other fields whose skills and know-how can contribute significantly to clay micromechanics research. In the workshop, we intend to travel across scales (nano, micro, meso to macro) and tackle the problem from different standpoints (theoretical, experimental, and numerical). This is aimed at creating an insight into unresolved issues, which will in turn enable the development of the field. Beyond the specific issues formulated above, the objective of the workshop is to establish an international, multi-disciplinary research community with the potential to contribute to the field of clay micromechanics.
From 24 January until 27 January online morning sessions will take place. On Thursday 28 April and Friday 29 April an in-person event will take place at the Lorentz Center Snellius venue.