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Particle shape dependence in 2D granular media

Abstract : Particle shape is a key to the space-filling and strength properties of granular matter. We consider a shape parameter η describing the degree of distortion from a perfectly spherical shape. Encompassing most specific shape characteristics such as elongation, angularity and non- convexity, η is a low-order but generic parameter that we used in a numerical benchmark test for a systematic investigation of shape-dependence in sheared granular packings composed of particles of different shapes. We find that the shear strength is an increasing function of η with nearly the same trend for all shapes, the differences appearing thus to be of second order compared to η. We also observe a nontrivial behavior of packing fraction which, for all our simulated shapes, increases with η from the random close packing fraction for disks, reaches a peak considerably higher than that for disks, and subsequently declines as η is further increased. These findings suggest that a low-order description of particle shape accounts for the principal trends of packing fraction and shear strength. Hence, the effect of second-order shape parameters may be investigated by considering different shapes at the same level of η.
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Baptiste Saint-Cyr, Szarf Krzysztof, Charles Voivret, Emilien Azéma, Vincent Richefeu, et al.. Particle shape dependence in 2D granular media. EPL - Europhysics Letters, European Physical Society/EDP Sciences/Società Italiana di Fisica/IOP Publishing, 2012, 98 (4), pp.44008. ⟨10.1209/0295-5075/98/44008⟩. ⟨hal-00689845⟩

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