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Quantification of the heterogeneity of particle packings Iwan Schenker,* Frank T. Filser, and Ludwig J. Gauckler

Summary: Quantification of the heterogeneity of particle packings
Iwan Schenker,* Frank T. Filser, and Ludwig J. Gauckler
Department of Materials, Nonmetallic Materials, ETH Zurich, Zurich CH-8093, Switzerland
Tomaso Aste
Department of Applied Mathematics, RSPhysSE, The Australian National University, 0200, Australia and School of Physical Sciences,
University of Kent, Canterbury, Kent CT2 7NH, United Kingdom
Hans J. Herrmann
Computational Physics for Engineering Materials, Institute for Building Materials, ETH Zurich, Zurich CH-8093, Switzerland
Received 19 January 2009; revised manuscript received 12 May 2009; published 5 August 2009
The microstructure of coagulated colloidal particles, for which the interparticle potential is described by the
Derjaguin-Landau-Verweg-Overbeek theory, is strongly influenced by the particles' surface potential. Depend-
ing on its value, the resulting microstructures are either more "homogeneous" or more "heterogeneous," at
equal volume fractions. An adequate quantification of a structure's degree of heterogeneity DOH , however,
does not yet exist. In this work, methods to quantify and thus classify the DOH of microstructures are
investigated and compared. Three methods are evaluated using particle packings generated by Brownian
dynamics simulations: 1 the pore size distribution, 2 the density-fluctuation method, and 3 the Voronoi
volume distribution. Each method provides a scalar measure, either via a parameter in a fit function or an
integral, which correlates with the heterogeneity of the microstructure and which thus allows to quantitatively
capture the DOH of a granular material. An analysis of the differences in the density fluctuations between two
structures additionally allows for a detailed determination of the length scale on which differences in hetero-


Source: Aste, Tomaso - Department of Applied Mathematics, Australian National University


Collections: Physics