Linking initial microstructure and local response during quasistatic granular compaction

R. C. Hurley, J. Lind, D. C. Pagan, M. A. Homel, M. C. Akin, E. B. Herbold

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19 Scopus citations


We performed experiments combining three-dimensional x-ray diffraction and x-ray computed tomography to explore the relationship between microstructure and local force and strain during quasistatic granular compaction. We found that initial void space around a grain and contact coordination number before compaction can be used to predict regions vulnerable to above-average local force and strain at later stages of compaction. We also found correlations between void space around a grain and coordination number, and between grain stress and maximum interparticle force, at all stages of compaction. Finally, we observed grains that fracture to have an above-average initial local void space and a below-average initial coordination number. Our findings provide (1) a detailed description of microstructure evolution during quasistatic granular compaction, (2) an approach for identifying regions vulnerable to large values of strain and interparticle force, and (3) methods for identifying regions of a material with large interparticle forces and coordination numbers from measurements of grain stress and local porosity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number012905
JournalPhysical Review E
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jul 24 2017

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Statistical and Nonlinear Physics
  • Statistics and Probability
  • Condensed Matter Physics


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