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Stress transmission in granular matter

Aste, T; Di Matteo, T; D'Agliano, EG; (2002) Stress transmission in granular matter. Journal of Physics Condensed Matter , 14 (9) pp. 2391-2402. 10.1088/0953-8984/14/9/328.

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The transmission of forces through a disordered granular system is studied by means of a geometrical-topological approach that reduces the granular packing into a set of layers. This layered structure constitutes the skeleton through which the force chains set up. Given the granular packing, and the region where the force is applied, such a skeleton is uniquely defined. Within this framework, we write an equation for the transmission of the vertical forces that can be solved recursively layer by layer. We find that a special class of analytical solutions for this equation are Lévi-stable distributions. We discuss the link between criticality and fragility and we show how the disordered packing naturally induces the formation of force chains and arches. We point out that critical regimes, with power law distributions, are associated with the roughness of the topological layers, whereas fragility is associated with local changes in the force network induced by local granular rearrangements or by changes in the applied force. The results are compared with recent experimental observations in particulate matter and with computer simulations.

Type: Article
Title: Stress transmission in granular matter
DOI: 10.1088/0953-8984/14/9/328
UCL classification: UCL > School of BEAMS
UCL > School of BEAMS > Faculty of Engineering Science
URI: http://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1360868
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