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Issue 13, 2010
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Loose packings of frictional spheres

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We have produced loose packings of cohesionless, frictional spheres by sequential deposition of highly-spherical, monodisperse particles through a fluid. By varying the properties of the fluid and the particles, we have identified the Stokes number (St)—rather than the buoyancy of the particles in the fluid—as the parameter controlling the approach to the loose packing limit. The loose packing limit is attained at a threshold value of St at which the kinetic energy of a particle impinging on the packing is fully dissipated by the fluid. Thus, for cohesionless particles, the dynamics of the deposition process, rather than the stability of the static packing, defines the random loose packing limit. We have made direct measurements of the interparticle friction in the fluid, and present an experimental measurement of the loose packing volume fraction, ϕRLP, as a function of the friction coefficient μs.

Graphical abstract: Loose packings of frictional spheres

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Publication details

The article was received on 01 Mar 2010, accepted on 06 May 2010 and first published on 02 Jun 2010

Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C0SM00038H
Citation: Soft Matter, 2010,6, 2925-2930
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    Loose packings of frictional spheres

    G. R. Farrell, K. M. Martini and N. Menon, Soft Matter, 2010, 6, 2925
    DOI: 10.1039/C0SM00038H

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