Jump to main content
Jump to site search

Issue 11, 2015
Previous Article Next Article

Self-assembly in a near-frictionless granular material: conformational structures and transitions in uniaxial cyclic compression of hydrogel spheres

Author affiliations

Abstract

We use a Markov transition matrix-based analysis to explore the structures and structural transitions in a three-dimensional assembly of hydrogel spheres under cyclic uniaxial compression. We apply these methods on experimental data obtained from a packing of nearly frictionless hydrogel balls. This allows an exploration of the emergence and evolution of mesoscale internal structures — a key micromechanical property that governs self-assembly and self-organization in dense granular media. To probe the mesoscopic force network structure, we consider two structural state spaces: (i) a particle and its contacting neighbours, and (ii) a particle's local minimal cycle topology summarized by a cycle vector. In both spaces, our analysis of the transition dynamics reveals which structures and which sets of structures are most prevalent and most likely to transform into each other during the compression/decompression of the material. In compressed states, structures rich in 3-cycle or triangle topologies form in abundance. In contrast, in uncompressed states, transitions comprising poorly connected structures are dominant. An almost-invariant transition set within the cycle vector space is discovered that identifies an intermediate set of structures crucial to the material's transition from weakly jammed to strongly jammed, and vice versa. Preferred transition pathways are also highlighted and discussed with respect to thermo-micro-mechanical constitutive formulations.

Graphical abstract: Self-assembly in a near-frictionless granular material: conformational structures and transitions in uniaxial cyclic compression of hydrogel spheres

Back to tab navigation

Publication details

The article was received on 29 Oct 2014, accepted on 12 Jan 2015 and first published on 30 Jan 2015


Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C4SM02384F
Citation: Soft Matter, 2015,11, 2157-2173
  •   Request permissions

    Self-assembly in a near-frictionless granular material: conformational structures and transitions in uniaxial cyclic compression of hydrogel spheres

    D. M. Walker, A. Tordesillas, N. Brodu, J. A. Dijksman, R. P. Behringer and G. Froyland, Soft Matter, 2015, 11, 2157
    DOI: 10.1039/C4SM02384F

Search articles by author

Spotlight

Advertisements