Granular packing: numerical simulation and the characterisation of the effect of particle shape
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- Guises, R., Xiang, J., Latham, JP. et al. Granular Matter (2009) 11: 281. doi:10.1007/s10035-009-0148-0
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The packing of granular particles is investigated using a combined finite-discrete element approach. One of the aims of this paper is to present an application of a recently improved numerical simulation technique for deformable granular material with arbitrary shapes. Our study is focused on the influence of the effect of the particle shape on (1) the emergent properties of a granular pack (packing density, coordination number, force distribution), and on (2) the spatial distribution of the stress. A set of simulations that mimick the sedimentation process is carried out, with varying input parameters, such as contact friction and particle shape. It is shown that the eccentricity of the particles not only significantly influences the final density of the pack but also the distribution of the stress and the contact forces. The presence of surface friction increases the amount of disorder within the granular system. Stress heterogeneities and force chain patterns propagate through the particles more efficiently than for the frictionless systems. The results also suggest that for the monodisperse systems investigated the coordination number is one of the factors that controls the distribution of the stress within a granular medium.