Mechanical behaviour of powders using a medium pressure flexible boundary cubical triaxial tester

F. Li, V. M. Puri

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


A medium pressure (<21 MPa) flexible boundary cubical triaxial tester was designed to measure the true three-dimensional response of powders. In this study, compression behaviour and strength of a microcrystalline cellulose powder (Avicel® PH102), a spray-dried alumina powder (A16SG), and a fluid-bed-granulated silicon nitride based powder (KY3500) were measured. To characterize the mechanical behaviour, three types of triaxial stress paths, that is, the hydrostatic triaxial compression (HTC), the conventional triaxial compression (CTC), and the constant mean pressure triaxial compression (CMPTC) tests were performed. The HTC test measured the volumetric response of the test powders under isostatic pressure from 0 to 13.79 MPa, during which the three powders underwent a maximum volumetric strain of 40.8 per cent for Avicel® PH102, 30.5 per cent for A16SG, and 33.0 per cent for KY3500. The bulk modulus values increased 6.4-fold from 57 to 367 MPa for Avicel® PH102, 3.7-fold from 174 to 637 MPa for A16SG, and 8.1-fold from 74 to 597 MPa for KY3500, when the isotropic stress increased from 0.69 to 13.79 MPa. The CTC and CMPTC tests measured the shear response of the three powders. From 0.035 to 3.45 MPa confining pressure, the shear modulus increased 28.7-fold from 1.6 to 45.9 MPa for Avicel® PH102, 35-fold from 1.7 to 60.5 MPa for A16SG, and 28.5-fold from 1.5 to 42.8 MPa for KY3500. In addition, the failure stresses of the three powders increased from 0.129 to 4.41 MPa for Avicel® PH102, 0.082 to 3.62 MPa for A16SG, and 0.090 to 4.66 MPa for KY3500, respectively, when consolidation pressure increased from 0.035 to 3.45 MPa. In addition, the shear modulus and failure stress values determined from the CTC test at 2.07, 2.76, and 3.45 MPa confining pressures are consistently greater than those from the CMPTC test at the same constant mean pressures. This observation demonstrates the influence of stress paths on material properties. The CTT is a useful tool for characterizing the three-dimensional response of powders and powder mixtures.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)233-242
Number of pages10
JournalProceedings of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, Part E: Journal of Process Mechanical Engineering
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2003

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering


Dive into the research topics of 'Mechanical behaviour of powders using a medium pressure flexible boundary cubical triaxial tester'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this