This paper investigates the force transmission modes, mainly described by probability density distributions, in non-cohesive dry and cohesive wet granular materials by discrete element modeling. The critical state force transmission patterns are focused on with the contact model effect being analyzed. By shearing relatively dense and loose dry specimens to the critical state in the conventional triaxial loading path, it is observed that there is a unique critical state force transmission mode. There is a universe critical state force distribution pattern for both the normal contact forces and tangential contact forces. Furthermore, it is found that using either the linear Hooke or the non-linear Hertz model does not affect the universe force transmission mode, and it is only related to the grain size distribution. Wet granular materials are also simulated by incorporating a water bridge model. Dense and loose wet granular materials are tested, and the critical state behavior for the wet material is also observed. The critical state strength and void ratio of wet granular materials are higher than those of a non-cohesive material. The critical state inter-particle distribution is altered from that of a non-cohesive material with higher probability in relatively weak forces. Grains in non-cohesive materials are under compressive stresses, and their principal directions are mainly in the axial loading direction. However, for cohesive wet granular materials, some particles are in tension, and the tensile stresses are in the horizontal direction on which the confinement is applied. The additional confinement by the tensile stress explains the macro strength and dilatancy increase in wet samples.
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