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Materials 2019, 12(6), 850;

3D Analysis of Deformation and Porosity of Dry Natural Snow during Compaction

Division of Fluid and Experimental Mechanics, Luleå University of Technology, 971 87 Luleå, Sweden
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 28 September 2018 / Revised: 7 March 2019 / Accepted: 8 March 2019 / Published: 13 March 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue In-Situ X-Ray Tomographic Study of Materials)
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The present study focuses on three-dimensional (3D) microstructure analysis of dry natural snow during compaction. An X-ray computed microtomography (micro-CT) system was used to record a total of 1601 projections of a snow volume. Experiments were performed in-situ at four load states as 0 MPa, 0.3 MPa, 0.6 MPa and 0.8 MPa, to investigate the effect of compaction on structural features of snow grains. The micro-CT system produces high resolution images (4.3 μm voxel) in 6 h of scanning time. The micro-CT images of the investigated snow volume illustrate that grain shapes are mostly dominated by needles, capped columns and dendrites. It was found that a significant number of grains appeared to have a deep hollow core irrespective of the grain shape. Digital volume correlation (DVC) was applied to investigate displacement and strain fields in the snow volume due to the compaction. Results from the DVC analysis show that grains close to the moving punch experience most of the displacement. The reconstructed snow volume is segmented into several cylinders via horizontal cross-sectioning, to evaluate the vertical heterogeneity of porosity distribution of the snow volume. It was observed that the porosity (for the whole volume) in principle decreases as the level of compaction increases. A distinct vertical heterogeneity is observed in porosity distribution in response to compaction. The observations from this initial study may be useful to understand the snow microstructure under applied stress. View Full-Text
Keywords: tomography; micro-CT; snow grains; digital volume correlation; snow microstructure; snow properties tomography; micro-CT; snow grains; digital volume correlation; snow microstructure; snow properties

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MDPI and ACS Style

Eppanapelli, L.K.; Forsberg, F.; Casselgren, J.; Lycksam, H. 3D Analysis of Deformation and Porosity of Dry Natural Snow during Compaction. Materials 2019, 12, 850.

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