A class of diatomic 2-D soft granular crystals undergoing pattern transformations
We propose a class of diatomic 2-D soft granular crystals, which features pattern transformation under compression with lateral confinement. The proposed granular crystals are composed of two different types of cylinders: large soft cylinders and small hard cylinders. The pattern-transformable granular crystals are obtained by exploring perturbed packing patterns as potential configurations, and compression with lateral confinement as the driving force of the transition. As a demonstration of the proof-of-concept, we first show the results of desktop-scaled experiments and finite element simulations for a representative case. Then, we present the procedure to obtain these new pattern transformations in soft granular crystals based on the compact packing theory of diatomic circles. The scale-independent compact packing theory serves as an important part of the veiled underlying mechanism of the observed pattern transformations, so the proposed granular crystals can open new avenues in the microstructural design of functional materials towards practical applications.