A contact model for sticking of adhesive meso-particles

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The interaction between visco-elasto-plastic and adhesive particles is the subject of this study, where "meso-particles" are introduced, i.e., simplified particles, whose contact mechanics is not taken into account in all details. A few examples of meso-particles include agglomerates or groups of primary particles, or inhomogeneous particles with micro-structures of the scale of the contact deformation, such as core-shell materials. A simple, flexible contact model for meso-particles is proposed, which allows to model the bulk behavior of assemblies of many particles in both rapid and slow, quasi-static flow situations. An attempt is made to categorize existing contact models for the normal force, discuss all the essential mechanical ingredients that must enter the model (qualitatively) and finally solve it analytically. The model combines a short-ranged, non-contact part (resembling either dry or wet materials) with an elaborate, visco-elasto-plastic and adhesive contact law. Using energy conservation arguments, an analytical expression for the coefficient of restitution is derived in terms of the impact velocity (for pair interactions or, equivalently, without loss of generality, for quasi-static situations in terms of the maximum overlap or confining stress). Adhesive particles (or meso-particles) stick to each other at very low impact velocity, while they rebound less dissipatively with increasing velocity, in agreement with previous studies. For even higher impact velocities an interesting second sticking and rebound regime is reported. The low velocity sticking is due to non-contact adhesive forces, the first rebound regime is due to stronger elastic and kinetic energies with little dissipation, while the high velocity sticking is generated by the non-linearly increasing, history dependent plastic dissipation and adhesive contact force.
Original languageEnglish
Article number1503.03720v2
Pages (from-to)1-55
Number of pages55
Issue number1503.03720v2
Publication statusPublished - 12 Mar 2016


  • METIS-317990
  • IR-101358


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