Constitutive analysis of the mechanical anisotropy of Opalinus Clay
This paper aims to analyse the anisotropic features of behaviour of Opalinus Clay using the theory of plastic multi-mechanisms. The results of triaxial tests conducted with different load levels and directions showed that the mechanical behaviour of this shale is cross-anisotropic. The stiffer samples are those in which the loading direction is parallel to the bedding plane. This indicates that the preconsolidation stress depends on the orientation of the load with respect to the fabric of Opalinus Clay. It is proposed to interpret the observed cross-anisotropy with an elastoplastic model based on four plastic strain mechanisms that may be successively mobilised depending on the loading direction. The predicted stress-strain responses vary according to the directions of the space as a result of the hardening process, depending on the number of plastic strain mechanisms that have been mobilised. The numerical predictions show overall good agreement with the experimental data in terms of deviatoric stress versus axial strain, demonstrating that multi-mechanism plasticity is a suitable constitutive tool for the interpretation of the mechanical anisotropy of this shale.