A discrete model for the sintering of polydisperse, inhomogeneous arrays of cylinders is presented with empirical contact force-laws, taking into account plastic deformations, cohesion, temperature dependence (melting), and long-time effects. Samples are prepared under constant isotropic load and are sintered for different sintering times. Increasing both external load and sintering time leads to a stronger, stiffer sample after cooling down. The material behavior is interpreted from both microscopic and macroscopic points of view. Among the interesting results is the observation that the coordination number, even though it has the tendency to increase, sometimes slightly decreases, whereas the density continuously increases during sintering - this is interpreted as an indicator of reorganization effects in the packing. Another result of this study is the finding that strongly attractive contacts occur during cool-down of the sample and leave a sintered block of material with almost equally strong attractive and repulsive contact forces.
- Compression test
- Density and coordination number
- Discrete element model
- Yield stress