The double-shearing model of flow attributes plastic deformation in granular materials to cooperative slip on conjugate Coulomb shears (surfaces upon which the Coulomb yield condition is satisfied). The strict formulation of the double-shearing model then requires that the slip lines in the material coincide with the Coulomb shears. Three different experiments that approximate simple shear deformation in granular media appear to be inconsistent with this strict formulation. For example, the orientation of the principal stress axes in a layer of sand driven in steady, simple shear was measured subject to the assumption that the Coulomb failure criterion was satisfied on some surfaces (orientation unspecified) within the sand layer. The orientation of the inferred principal compressive axis was then compared with the orientations predicted by the double-shearing model. The strict formulation of the model [Spencer, 1982] predicts that the principal stress axes should rotate in a sense opposite to that inferred from the experiments. A less restrictive formulation of the double-shearing model by de Josselin de Jong  does not completely specify the solution but does prescribe limits on the possible orientations of the principal stress axes. The orientations of the principal compression axis inferred from the experiments are probably within those limits. An elastoplastic formulation of the double-shearing model [de Josselin de Jong, 1988] is reasonably consistent with the experiments, although quantitative agreement was not attained. Thus we conclude that the double-shearing model may be a viable law to describe deformation of granular materials, but the macroscopic slip surfaces will not in general coincide with the Coulomb shears.
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A test of the double-shearing model of flow for granular materials