Picture of wind turbine against blue sky

Open Access research with a real impact...

The Strathprints institutional repository is a digital archive of University of Strathclyde research outputs.

The Energy Systems Research Unit (ESRU) within Strathclyde's Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering is producing Open Access research that can help society deploy and optimise renewable energy systems, such as wind turbine technology.

Explore wind turbine research in Strathprints

Explore all of Strathclyde's Open Access research content

Does gravity cause load-bearing bridges in colloidal and granular systems?

Jenkins, M. C. and Haw, M. D. and Barker, G. C. and Poon, W. C. K. and Egelhaaf, S. U. (2011) Does gravity cause load-bearing bridges in colloidal and granular systems? Physical Review Letters, 107 (3). ISSN 0031-9007

[img]
Preview
PDF
bridgespaper_v6_8_PRL.pdf - Preprint

Download (140kB) | Preview

Abstract

We study structures which can bear loads, "bridges", in particulate packings. To investigate the relationship between bridges and gravity, we experimentally determine bridge statistics in colloidal packings. We vary the effective magnitude and direction of gravity, volume fraction, and interactions, and find that the bridge size distributions depend only on the mean number of neighbors. We identify a universal distribution, in agreement with simulation results for granulars, suggesting that applied loads merely exploit preexisting bridges, which are inherent in dense packings.