Soriano, Ilaria

Project Title

Micromechanics of cemented granular materials


Do type and degree of cementation play an important role in the generation and evolution of deformation bands in sandstones?

The present study focuses on the micro-processes taking place during deformation of weakly cemented sands, which may be considered as an analogue of sandstones. Sand grains were collected from a weakly cemented sand quarry, where sand deposits had experienced natural (large scale) deformation.

Keeping this phenomenon as reference, artificially sandstones are created in laboratory, cementing sand grains at different contents. A range of pre-, syn- and post- deformation experimental methods (X-ray CT, SEM, 3D DIC, permeability simulators) are applied to capture natural and laboratory-induced deformation processes.

  1. investigation of the microstructure of naturally cemented sands;
  2. preparation of artificial sandstones;
  3. analysis of the mechanical behaviour of the artificial samples undergoing deformation processes;
  4. comparison of the mechanical behaviour between the artificial material and the natural one.


Dr Elli-Maria Charalampidou, Dr Helen Lewis, Cino Viggiani (3SR Laboratoire, Université Grenoble Alpes, France)