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  1. Free, publicly-accessible full text available March 1, 2025
  2. Free, publicly-accessible full text available September 1, 2024
  3. Numerous experimental and computational studies show that continuous hopper flows of granular materials obey the Beverloo equation that relates the volume flow rate Q and the orifice width w : Q ∼ ( w / σ avg − k ) β , where σ avg is the average particle diameter, kσ avg is an offset where Q ∼ 0, the power-law scaling exponent β = d − 1/2, and d is the spatial dimension. Recent studies of hopper flows of deformable particles in different background fluids suggest that the particle stiffness and dissipation mechanism can also strongly affect the power-law scaling exponent β . We carry out computational studies of hopper flows of deformable particles with both kinetic friction and background fluid dissipation in two and three dimensions. We show that the exponent β varies continuously with the ratio of the viscous drag to the kinetic friction coefficient, λ = ζ / μ . β = d − 1/2 in the λ → 0 limit and d − 3/2 in the λ → ∞ limit, with a midpoint λ c that depends on the hopper opening angle θ w . We also characterize the spatial structure of the flows and associate changes in spatial structure of the hopper flows to changes in the exponent β . The offset k increases with particle stiffness until k ∼ k max in the hard-particle limit, where k max ∼ 3.5 is larger for λ → ∞ compared to that for λ → 0. Finally, we show that the simulations of hopper flows of deformable particles in the λ → ∞ limit recapitulate the experimental results for quasi-2D hopper flows of oil droplets in water. 
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  4. We investigate the non-affine displacement fields that occur in two-dimensional Lennard-Jones models of metallic glasses subjected to athermal, quasistatic simple shear (AQS). During AQS, the shear stress versus strain displays continuous quasi-elastic segments punctuated by rapid drops in shear stress, which correspond to atomic rearrangement events. We capture all information concerning the atomic motion during the quasi-elastic segments and shear stress drops by performing Delaunay triangularizations and tracking the deformation gradient tensor F α associated with each triangle α . To understand the spatio-temporal evolution of the displacement fields during shear stress drops, we calculate F α along minimal energy paths from the mechanically stable configuration immediately before to that after the stress drop. We find that quadrupolar displacement fields form and dissipate both during the quasi-elastic segments and shear stress drops. We then perform local perturbations (rotation, dilation, simple and pure shear) to single triangles and measure the resulting displacement fields. We find that local pure shear deformations of single triangles give rise to mostly quadrupolar displacement fields, and thus pure shear strain is the primary type of local strain that is activated by bulk, athermal quasistatic simple shear. Other local perturbations, e.g. rotations, dilations, and simple shear of single triangles, give rise to vortex-like and dipolar displacement fields that are not frequently activated by bulk AQS. These results provide fundamental insights into the non-affine atomic motion that occurs in driven, glassy materials. 
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  5. We investigate the structural, vibrational, and mechanical properties of jammed packings of deformable particles with shape degrees of freedom in three dimensions (3D). Each 3D deformable particle is modeled as a surface-triangulated polyhedron, with spherical vertices whose positions are determined by a shape-energy function with terms that constrain the particle surface area, volume, and curvature, and prevent interparticle overlap. We show that jammed packings of deformable particles without bending energy possess low-frequency, quartic vibrational modes, whose number decreases with increasing asphericity and matches the number of missing contacts relative to the isostatic value. In contrast, jammed packings of deformable particles with non-zero bending energy are isostatic in 3D, with no quartic modes. We find that the contributions to the eigenmodes of the dynamical matrix from the shape degrees of freedom are significant over the full range of frequency and shape parameters for particles with zero bending energy. We further show that the ensemble-averaged shear modulus 〈 G 〉 scales with pressure P as 〈 G 〉 ∼ P β , with β ≈ 0.75 for jammed packings of deformable particles with zero bending energy. In contrast, β ≈ 0.5 for packings of deformable particles with non-zero bending energy, which matches the value for jammed packings of soft, spherical particles with fixed shape. These studies underscore the importance of incorporating particle deformability and shape change when modeling the properties of jammed soft materials. 
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