Disentangling the role of structure and friction in shear jamming

HA Vinutha and S Sastry, NATURE PHYSICS, 12, 578-+ (2016).

DOI: 10.1038/NPHYS3658

Amorphous sphere packings have been intensely investigated to understand mechanical and flow behaviour of dense granular matter and to explore universal aspects of the jamming transition, from fluid to structurally arrested states. Considerable recent research has focused on anisotropic packings of frictional grains generated by shear deformation leading to shear jamming(1-5), occurring below the jamming density for isotropic packings of frictionless grains(6-11). Here, with the aim of disentangling the role of shear-deformation-induced structures and friction in generating shear jamming, we computationally study sheared assemblies of frictionless spheres, over a wide range of densities. We demonstrate that shear deformation alone leads to the emergence of geometric features characteristic of jammed packings, with the increase of shear strain. We also show that such emergent geometry, together with friction, leads to mechanically stable, shear-jammed, packings above a threshold density that lies well below the isotropic jamming point.

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