Rotating bearings in regular and irregular granular shear packings
LCE, Helsinki University of Technology, P.O. Box 9203, FI-02015 TKK, Finland
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Accepted: 12 December 2007
Published online: 31 January 2008
For 2D regular dense packings of solid mono-size non-sliding disks there is a mechanism for bearing formation under shear that can be explained theoretically. There is, however, no easy way to extend this model to include random dense packings which would better describe natural packings. A numerical model that simulates shear deformation for both near-regular and irregular packings is used to demonstrate that rotating bearings appear roughly with the same density in random and regular packings. The main difference appears in the size distribution of the rotating clusters near the jamming threshold. The size distribution is well described by a scaling form with a large-size cut-off that seems to grow without bounds for regular packings at the jamming threshold, while it remains finite for irregular packings. At packing densities above the jamming transition there can be no shear, unless the disks are allowed to break. Breaking of disks induces a large number of small local bearings. Clusters of rotating particles may contribute to e.g. pre-rupture yielding in landslides, snow avalanches and to the formation of aseismic gaps in tectonic fault zones.
PACS: 61.43.-j Disordered solids – / 81.05.Rm Porous materials; granular materials – / 62.20.mm Fracture –
© EDP Sciences, Società Italiana di Fisica and Springer-Verlag, 2008