Infoscience

Journal article

Scaling laws for the mechanics of loose and cohesive granular materials based on Baxter's sticky hard spheres

We have conducted discrete element simulations (PFC3D) of very loose, cohesive, granular assemblies with initial configurations which are drawn from Baxter's sticky hard sphere (SHS) ensemble. The SHS model is employed as a promising auxiliary means to independently control the coordination number zc of cohesive contacts and particle volume fraction f of the initial states. We focus on discerning the role of zc and f for the elastic modulus, failure strength, and the plastic consolidation line under quasistatic, uniaxial compression. We find scaling behavior of the modulus and the strength, which both scale with the cohesive contact density.c = zcf of the initial state according to a power law. In contrast, the behavior of the plastic consolidation curve is shown to be independent of the initial conditions. Our results show the primary control of the initial contact density on the mechanics of cohesive granular materials for small deformations, which can be conveniently, but not exclusively explored within the SHS-based assembling procedure.

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