Study of the mechanical behavior of granular materials

This project was initiated by G. D’Anna, in collaboration with G. Gremaud. We used the mechanical spectroscopy to study experimentally the mechanical behaviours of granular materials submitted to forced vibrations. At low amplitudes of the applied vibrations, we observed a jamming process in the granular materials, which follows strictly the same law (Vogel-Fulcher-Tammann (VFT) law) than that of the glass transition in solids (Nature, 413, 407-409, 2001 and PRL 87, 25, 254302, 2001 ). At higher amplitudes of the applied vibrations, we observed that the granular materials behaves very similarly than a gas (EPFL PhD thesis n. 3334, P. Mayor, 2005), and we proved experimentally that the fluctuation-dissipation theorem can be applied to such a dissipative system (Nature, 424, 909-912, 2003).

Presently, another PhD thesis work (Alessandro Sellerio) is ongoing under the supervision of G. Gremaud and D. Mari aiming at the investigation of the granular material in the region of the glass transtion. All glassy materials show an mechanical loss peak at the glass transition. We discovered that the same characteristics can be found in granular materials.

Publications (2000-2011)
L. Sellerio, D. Mari, G. Gremaud and G. DíAnna, Glass transition associated with the jamming of vibrated granular matter, Phys. Rev. E, (2011) accepted

D’anna G, Mayor P, Gremaud G, Barrat A, Loreto V. Extreme events-driven glassy behaviour in granular media. Europhys Lett. (2003) 61:60-6

G. D’Anna, G. Gremaud, “Activated-like hopping transition in weakly vibrated granular media”, Europhysics Letters, 54 (5), 599-604 (2001).

G. D’Anna, G. Gremaud,  “Vibration-induced jamming transition in granular media”, Physical Review E, 64,             011306-1-6       (2001).

G. D’Anna, G. Gremaud,  “The jamming route to the glass-state in weakly perturbed granular media”, Nature, 413, 407-409 (2001).

G. D’Anna, G. Gremaud, “Vogel-Fulcher-Tammann Type Diffusive Slowdown in Weakly Perturbed Granular Media”, Phys. Rev. Lett., 87, 25, 254302-1-4 (2001).

G. D’Anna, P. Mayor, G. Gremaud, A. Barrat, V. Loreto, “Extreme events-driven glassy behaviour in granular media”, Europhysics Letters, 61 (1), 60-66 (2003).

G. D’Anna, P. Mayor, A. Barrat, V. Loreto and Franco Nori, « Observing brownian motion in vibration-fluidized granular matter », Nature, 424 (2003) 909.

G. D’Anna and P. Mayor, Hierarchically related processes and macroscopic emergence of fluctuations in weakly perturbed granular media, Physica A, 325 (2003) 267-273

P. Mayor, G. D’Anna, G. Gremaud, “Jamming in weakly perturbed granular media”,  Materials Science and Engineering A, 370, 307-310 (2004).

G. D’Anna, P. Mayor, An oscillator in the granular matter, in : Unifying concepts in granular media and glasses, eds A. Coniglio, A. Fierro, H.J. Herrmann, M. Nicodemi, Elsevier (2004)

P. Mayor, G. D’Anna, A. Barrat, V. Loreto, « Observing Brownian motion and measuring temperatures in vibration-fluidized granular matter », New Journal of Physics 7 (2005) 28, in « Focus on Brownian Motion and Diffusion in the 21st Century », in the frame of the Celebratory Focus Issues edited for the Year of Physics 2005.

Mayor P, D’Anna G, Gremaud G, Barrat A, Loreto V, Mechanical spectroscopy of vibrated granular matter. Materials Science and Engineering: A. 2006; 442, 256-262.