PITA Fiscal Year 2008 Projects - Information and Systems Technology

Physical Characterization Of Granular Materials Created By 3d Particle Generation Model

Natural earth materials are mostly in the form of discrete elements and their characteristic properties have been investigated by various experimental and numerical methods. Yet, unlike the continuum materials, granular materials are inherently in random and heterogeneous space. Acknowledging that geometrical configuration of particles and porous network dominate its physical behaviors, this project aims to develop an emerging technology based on 3D synthetic particle imaging coupled with finite element analyses. The particle generation algorithm viably enables to create a wide range of 3D granular systems of interest. The image is then imported into the commercially available finite element program to primarily evaluate the conduction properties – hydraulic, thermal and electrical conductivity. Finally, the supplementary experimentation will be designed to validate the numerically calculated values. It is physically rigorous and no adjustable parameter is needed. Physical characterization by image generation in particle-scale and corresponding numerical solution are not only applicable to geo-engineering but also useful in pharmaceutical industry, agriculture, mining, packaging, bulk transport of grains and energy production.