Effect of size polydispersity versus particle shape in dense granular media

Abstract : We present a detailed analysis of the morphology of granular systems composed of frictionless pentagonal particles by varying systematically both the size span and particle shape irregularity, which represent two polydispersity parameters of the system. The microstructure is characterized in terms of various statistical descriptors such as global and local packing fractions, radial distribution functions, coordination number, and fraction of floating particles.We find that the packing fraction increases with the two parameters of polydispersity, but the effect of shape polydispersity for all the investigated structural properties is significant only at low size polydispersity where the positional and/or orientational ordering of the particles prevail.We focus in more detail on the class of side/side contacts, which is the interesting feature of our system as compared to a packing of disks. We show that the proportion of such contacts has weak dependence on the polydispersity parameters. The sideside contacts do not percolate but they define clusters of increasing size as a function of size polydispersity and decreasing size as a function of shape polydispersity. The clusters have anisotropic shapes but with a decreasing aspect ratio as polydispersity increases. This feature is argued to be a consequence of strong force chains (forces above the mean), which are mainly captured by side-side contacts. Finally, the force transmission is intrinsically multiscale, with a mean force increasing linearly with particle size.
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Physical Review E : Statistical, Nonlinear, and Soft Matter Physics, American Physical Society, 2014, 86 (041301), pp.1-15. 〈10.1103/PhysRevE.90.012202〉
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Duc-Hanh Nguyen, Émilien Azéma, Farhang Radjai, Philippe Sornay. Effect of size polydispersity versus particle shape in dense granular media. Physical Review E : Statistical, Nonlinear, and Soft Matter Physics, American Physical Society, 2014, 86 (041301), pp.1-15. 〈10.1103/PhysRevE.90.012202〉. 〈hal-01059980〉

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