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Materials 2017, 10(8), 898; doi:10.3390/ma10080898

The Quantified Characterization Method of the Micro-Macro Contacts of Three-Dimensional Granular Materials on the Basis of Graph Theory

The State Key Laboratory of Hydro-Science and Engineering, Tsinghua University, Beijing 100084, China
Sanjiangyuan Collaborative Innovation Center, Tsinghua University, Beijing 100084, China
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 22 May 2017 / Revised: 21 July 2017 / Accepted: 25 July 2017 / Published: 3 August 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Granular Materials)


We have attempted a multiscale and quantified characterization method of the contact in three-dimensional granular material made of spherical particles, particularly in cemented granular material. Particle contact is defined as a type of surface contact with voids in its surroundings, rather than a point contact. Macro contact is a particle contact set satisfying the restrictive condition of a two-dimensional manifold with a boundary. On the basis of graph theory, two dual geometrical systems are abstracted from the granular pack. The face and the face set, which satisfies the two-dimensional manifold with a boundary in the solid cell system, are extracted to characterize the particle contact and the macro contact, respectively. This characterization method is utilized to improve the post-processing in DEM (Discrete Element Method) from a micro perspective to describe the macro effect of the cemented granular material made of spherical particles. Since the crack has the same shape as its corresponding contact, this method is adopted to characterize the crack and realize its visualization. The integral failure route of the sample can be determined by a graph theory algorithm. The contact force is assigned to the weight value of the face characterizing the particle contact. Since the force vectors can be added, the macro contact force can be solved by adding the weight of its corresponding faces. View Full-Text
Keywords: granular material; particle contact; microstructure; characterization granular material; particle contact; microstructure; characterization

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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Guan, Y.; Wang, E.; Liu, X.; Wang, S.; Luan, H. The Quantified Characterization Method of the Micro-Macro Contacts of Three-Dimensional Granular Materials on the Basis of Graph Theory. Materials 2017, 10, 898.

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