Dynamics of sheared ellipses and circular disks: effects of particle shape.
Much recent effort has focused on glassy and jamming properties of spherical particles. Very little is known about such phenomena for nonspherical particles, and we take a first step by studying ellipses. We find important differences between the dynamical and structural properties of disks and two-dimensional ellipses subject to continuous Couette shear. In particular, ellipses show slow dynamical evolution, without a counterpart in disks, in the mean velocity, local density, orientational order, and local stress. Starting from an unjammed state, ellipses can first jam under shear, and then slowly unjam. The slow unjamming process is understood as a result of gradual changes in their orientations, leading to a denser packing. For disks, the rotation of particles only contributes to the relaxation of frictional forces, and hence, does not significantly cause structural changes. For the shear-jammed states, the global building up and relaxation of stress, which occurs in the form of stress avalanches, is qualitatively different for disks and ellipses, and is manifested by different forms of rate dependence for ellipses versus disks. Unlike the weak rate dependence typical for many granular systems, ellipses show power-law dependence on the shearing rate Ω.
Farhadi, S; Behringer, RP
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