We examine stationary regimes in granular materials from a dynamical systems theory perspective. The aim is to enrich the classical view of the critical state regime in granular materials, and more broadly, to improve the fundamental understanding of the underlying mesoscale mechanisms responsible for macroscopic stationary states in complex systems. This study is based on a series of discrete element method simulations, in which two-dimensional assemblies of nonuniformly sized circular particles are subjected to biaxial compression under constant lateral confining pressure. The lifespan and life expectancy of specific cluster conformations, comprising particles in force chains and grain loops, are tracked and quantified. Results suggest that these conformational clusters reorganize at similar rates in the critical state regime, depending on strain magnitudes and confining pressure levels. We quantified this rate of reorganization and found that the material memory rapidly fades, with an entirely new generation of force chains and grain loops replacing the old within a few percent strain.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Statistical and Nonlinear Physics
- Statistics and Probability
- Condensed Matter Physics