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Published August 2022 | Published
Journal Article Open

Stress transmission in entangled granular structures


We study the transmission of compressive and tensile stresses, and the development of stress - induced anisotropy in entangled granular structures composed of nonconvex S-shaped hooks and staples. Utilizing discrete element simulations, we find that these systems exhibit fundamentally different behavior compared to standard convex particle systems, including the ability to entangle which contributes to a lower jamming packing fraction and facilitates the transmission of tensile stresses. We present direct evidence of tensile stress chains, and show that these chains are generally sparser, shorter and shorter-lived than the compressive chains found in convex particle packings. We finally study the probability distribution, angular density and anisotropic spatial correlation of the minor (compressive) and major (tensile) particle stresses. The insight gained for these systems can help the design of reconfigurable and recyclable granular structures capable of bearing considerable loads, without any need for reinforcement.

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© The Author(s) 2022. This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons licence, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article's Creative Commons licence, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article's Creative Commons licence and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this licence, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/. Received 31 January 2022. Accepted 25 May 2022. Published 11 July 2022. The authors would like to acknowledge the Summer Undergraduate Research Fellows at Caltech, Jade Leong, Katheryn Wang, Eleni Blatsouka, Animesh Rastogi and Omkar Kadam for their help in the experimental and particle design aspects of this study. Open access funding provided by Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich. Contributions. Conceptualization: KK, SM, JEA. Methodology: KK, SM, RBM. Writing - original draft: KK. Writing - review and editing: SM, RBM, JEA. Formal Analysis/Investigation: KK, SM, RBM, SR. Supervision: JEA. The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

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August 22, 2023
October 24, 2023