Experimental measurements of contact forces are limited to spheres and disks in three and two dimensions, making the evaluation of shape effect and universality of force distributions and comparison between experiments and theories extremely difficult. Here we present precise measurements of vector contact forces in photoelastic ellipses and disks subject to isotropic compression and pure shear. We find the local, instead of the global, stress ratio controls the width of force distributions for forces larger than the mean, regardless of particle shape and preparation protocols. By taking advantage of anisotropic particle shape, we can determine the anisotropic growth of contacts in ellipses subject to isotropic compression, revealing the role of nonaffine particle motions in homogenizing force distributions. Our results uncover the role of local anisotropy in the statistical framework of granular materials and open a regime of exploring the role of particle shape on the mechanical and dynamical properties of granular materials in depth.
Physical Review Research
- Pub Date:
- October 2021
- Condensed Matter - Soft Condensed Matter;
- Condensed Matter - Disordered Systems and Neural Networks;
- Condensed Matter - Statistical Mechanics
- 18 pages, 4 figures