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A cohesive granular material with tunable elasticity.

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Hemmerle,  Arnaud
Group Pattern formation in the geosciences, Department of Dynamics of Complex Fluids, Max Planck Institute for Dynamics and Self-Organization, Max Planck Society;

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Schröter,  Matthias
Group Statistical mechanics of granular media, Department of Dynamics of Complex Fluids, Max Planck Institute for Dynamics and Self-Organization, Max Planck Society;

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Goehring,  Lucas
Group Pattern formation in the geosciences, Department of Dynamics of Complex Fluids, Max Planck Institute for Dynamics and Self-Organization, Max Planck Society;

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Citation

Hemmerle, A., Schröter, M., & Goehring, L. (2016). A cohesive granular material with tunable elasticity. Scientific Reports, 6: 35650. doi:10.1038/srep35650.


Cite as: http://hdl.handle.net/11858/00-001M-0000-002B-A18C-4
Abstract
By mixing glass beads with a curable polymer we create a well-defined cohesive granular medium, held together by solidified, and hence elastic, capillary bridges. This material has a geometry similar to a wet packing of beads, but with an additional control over the elasticity of the bonds holding the particles together. We show that its mechanical response can be varied over several orders of magnitude by adjusting the size and stiffness of the bridges, and the size of the particles. We also investigate its mechanism of failure under unconfined uniaxial compression in combination with in situ x-ray microtomography. We show that a broad linear-elastic regime ends at a limiting strain of about 8%, whatever the stiffness of the agglomerate, which corresponds to the beginning of shear failure. The possibility to finely tune the stiffness, size and shape of this simple material makes it an ideal model system for investigations on, for example, fracturing of porous rocks, seismology, or root growth in cohesive porous media.