Multiscale mechanics of granular media


David Hennan, Brown University

Anil Misra, University of Kansas

Ken Kamrin, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Ranganathan Parthasarathy, Tennessee State University

Payam Poorsolhjouy, Purdue University and Graz University of Technology


Despite the ubiquity of granular media in industry and geophysics, understanding their mechanical behavior poses a wide variety of unresolved but inter-related questions. Simulation of large-scale, history-dependent phenomena forces researchers to develop continuum models that can faithfully reproduce the underlying physics of discrete motions and interactions. This leads to myriad scientific questions related to bridging the microscopic, grain scale and the macroscopic, continuum scale with the aim of modeling behaviors such as history-dependence, evolving volume compaction/dilatation, strain softening, strain-localization/shear-banding, energy localization, wave dispersion, fabric evolution due to evolving contacts, grain breakage, rate-sensitive rheological behavior, segregation, pore-fluid effects, and other multi-physics phenomena. This symposium shall focus on the current state-of-the-art of research in the mechanics and physics of granular materials at length-scales ranging from the grain scale to the continuum scale. We encourage submissions related to experimental, theoretical, and computational research. Modeling methods may include discrete-element modeling, statistical mechanics of granular media, homogenization approaches toward continuum modeling, classical and higher-order continuum theories, finite-element modeling, and other multi-scale approaches. Materials of interest include but are not limited to soils, other geo-materials, pharmaceuticals, biomaterials, food products, and construction materials. Further, the symposium is not restricted to de Gennes’ classical definition of athermal granular media, and we also welcome research work dealing with scales at which thermal vibration becomes important.