Stress transmission in wet granular materials
LMGC, UMR CNRS 5508, Université Montpellier 2, Place Eugène Bataillon, Cc. 048, 34095, Montpellier Cedex 5, France
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Accepted: 8 January 2007
Published online: 13 February 2007
We analyze stress transmission in wet granular media in the pendular state by means of three-dimensional molecular-dynamics simulations. We show that the tensile action of capillary bonds induces a self-stressed particle network organized in two percolating “phases” of positive and negative particle pressures. Various statistical descriptors of the microstructure and bond force network are used to characterize this partition. Two basic properties emerge: 1) the highest particle pressure is located in the bulk of each phase; 2) the lowest pressure level occurs at the interface between the two phases, involving also the largest connectivity of the particles via tensile and compressive bonds. When a confining pressure is applied, the number of tensile bonds falls off and the negative phase breaks into aggregates and isolated sites.
PACS: 45.70.-n Granular systems – / 83.80.Fg Granular solids –
© EDP Sciences, Società Italiana di Fisica and Springer-Verlag, 2007