How do agglomerates break?

Colin Thornton*, Lianfeng Liu

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    Granular dynamics (DEM) simulations of a polydisperse cuboidal agglomerate impacting with a target wall are reported. The paper focuses on identifying the physical processes that lead to fracture. It is shown that fracture is the result of the manner in which strong interparticle forces are transmitted into the agglomerate and the consequent development of a heterogeneous distribution of primary particle velocities. This heterogeneous velocity field produces strong velocity discontinuities along which shear weakening occurs. Consequently, the strong velocity discontinuities become the potential fracture planes. 

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)110-116
    Number of pages7
    JournalPowder Technology
    Publication statusPublished - 25 Jun 2004


    • agglomerates
    • fracture
    • granular dynamics
    • impact


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