Dynamic Inter-Particle Force Inference in Granular Materials: Method and Application
Inter-particle force transmission in granular media plays an important role in the macroscopic static and dynamic behavior of these materials. This paper presents a method for inferring inter-particle forces in opaque granular materials during dynamic experiments. By linking experimental measurements of particle kinematics and volume-averaged strains to forces, the method provides a new tool for quantitatively studying force transmission and its relation to macroscopic behavior. We provide an experimental validation of the method, comparing inter-particle forces measured in a simple impact test on two-dimensional rubber grains to a finite-element simulation. We also provide an application of the method, using it to study inter-particle forces during impact of an intruder on a granular bed. We discuss the current challenges for applying the method to both model materials and real geologic materials.