Spherical shock-wave propagation in three-dimensional granular packings

K Xue and CH Bai, PHYSICAL REVIEW E, 83, 021305 (2011).

DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevE.83.021305

We investigate numerically the spherical shock-wave propagation in an open dense granular packing perturbed by the sudden expansion of a spherical intruder in the interior of the pack, focusing on the correlation between geometrical fabrics and propagating properties. The measurements of the temporal and spatial variations in a variety of propagating properties define a consistent serrated wave substructure with characteristic length on the orders of particle diameters. Further inspection of particle packing reveals a well-defined particle layering that persists several particle diameters away from the intruder, although its dominant effects are only within one to two diameters. This interface-induced layering not only exactly coincides with the serrated wave profile, but also highlights the competition between two energy transmission mechanisms involving distinct transport speeds. The alternating dominances between these two mechanisms contribute to the nonlinear wave propagation on the particle scale. Moreover, the proliferation of intricate three-dimensional contact force networks suggests the anisotropic stress transmission, which is found to also arise from the localized packing structure in the vicinity of the intruder.

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