The European Physical Journal E

, Volume 27, Issue 1, pp 107–114 | Cite as

Coefficient of tangential restitution for viscoelastic spheres

  • T. Schwager
  • V. Becker
  • T. PöschelEmail author


The collision of frictional granular particles may be described by an interaction force whose normal component is that of viscoelastic spheres while the tangential part is described by the model by Cundall and Strack (Géotechnique 29, 47 (1979)) being the most popular tangential collision model in Molecular Dynamics simulations. Albeit being a rather complicated model, governed by 5 phenomenological parameters and 2 independent initial conditions, we find that it is described by 3 independent parameters only. Surprisingly, in a wide range of parameters the corresponding coefficient of tangential restitution, εt, is well described by the simple Coulomb law with a cut-off at εt = 0. A more complex behavior of the coefficient of restitution as a function on the normal and tangential components of the impact velocity, g n and g t , including negative values of ε n , is found only for very small ratio g t /g n . For the analysis presented here we neglect dissipation of the interaction in normal direction.


45.70.-n Granular systems 45.50.Tn Collisions 45.50.-j Dynamics and kinematics of a particle and a system of particles 


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Copyright information

© Springer 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.CharitéBerlinGermany
  2. 2.Physikalisches InstitutUniversität BayreuthBayreuthGermany

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