Energy distribution during the quasi-static confined comminution of granular materials

Pei Wang, Chloé Arson

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

27 Citations (Scopus)


A method is proposed to calculate the distribution of energy during the quasi-static confined comminution of particulate assemblies. The work input, calculated by integrating the load-displacement curve, is written as the sum of the elastic deformation energy, the breakage energy and the redistribution energy. Experimental results obtained on samples subjected to compression stresses ranging between 0.4 and 92 MPa are used to calibrate the model. The elastic energy stored in the samples is obtained by simulating the compression test on the final particle size distributions (PSDs) with the discrete element method and by extracting the contact forces. A PSD evolution law is proposed to account for particle breakage. The PSD is related to the total particle surface in the sample, which allows calculating the breakage energy. The redistribution energy, which comprises the kinetic energy of particles being rearranged and the friction energy dissipated at contacts, is obtained by subtracting the elastic energy and breakage energy from the work input. Results show that: (1) at least 60% of the work input is dissipated by particle redistribution; (2) the fraction of elastic deformation energy increases, and the fraction of redistribution energy decreases as the compression stress increases; (3) the breakage energy accounts for less than 5% of the total input energy, and this value is independent of the compressive stress; (4) the energy dissipated by redistribution is between 14 and 30 times larger than the breakage energy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1075-1083
Number of pages9
JournalActa Geotechnica
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2018
Externally publishedYes


  • Comminution
  • Energy dissipation
  • Grain breakage
  • Particulate mechanics
  • Thermodynamics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geotechnical Engineering and Engineering Geology
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences (miscellaneous)


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