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Chin. Phys. B, 2014, Vol. 23(11): 116105    DOI: 10.1088/1674-1056/23/11/116105
SPECIAL TOPIC—Non-equilibrium phenomena in soft matters Prev   Next  

Mechanical properties of jammed packings of frictionless spheres under an applied shear stress

Liu Hao, Tong Hua, Xu Ning
Key Laboratory of Soft Matter Chemistry of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Hefei National Laboratory for Physical Sciences at the Microscale, and Department of Physics, University of Science and Technology of China, Hefei 230026, China
Abstract  By minimizing a thermodynamic-like potential, we unbiasedly sample the potential energy landscape of soft and frictionless spheres under a constant shear stress. We obtain zero-temperature jammed states under desired shear stresses and investigate their mechanical properties as a function of the shear stress. As a comparison, we also obtain the jammed states from the quasistatic-shear sampling in which the shear stress is not well-controlled. Although the yield stresses determined by both samplings show the same power-law scaling with the compression from the jamming transition point J at zero temperature and shear stress, for finite size systems the quasistatic-shear sampling leads to a lower yield stress and a higher critical volume fraction at point J. The shear modulus of the jammed solids decreases with increasing shear stress. However, the shear modulus does not decay to zero at yielding. This discontinuous change of the shear modulus implies the discontinuous nature of the unjamming transition under nonzero shear stress, which is further verified by the observation of a discontinuous jump in the pressure from the jammed solids to the shear flows. The pressure jump decreases upon decompression and approaches zero at the critical-like point J, in analogy with the well-known phase transitions under an external field. The analysis of the force networks in the jammed solids reveals that the force distribution is more sensitive to the increase of the shear stress near point J. The force network anisotropy increases with increasing shear stress. The weak particle contacts near the average force and under large shear stresses it exhibit an asymmetric angle distribution.
Keywords:  jamming      shear      phase transition      force network     
Received:  16 June 2014      Published:  15 November 2014
PACS:  61.43.-j (Disordered solids)  
Fund: Project supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant No. 21325418), the National Basic Research Program of China (Grant No. 2012CB821500), the Chinese Academy of Sciences 100-Talent Program (Grant No. 2030020004), and the Fundamental Research Funds for the Central Universities, China (Grant No. 2340000034).
Corresponding Authors:  Xu Ning     E-mail:  ningxu@ustc.edu.cn

Cite this article: 

Liu Hao, Tong Hua, Xu Ning Mechanical properties of jammed packings of frictionless spheres under an applied shear stress 2014 Chin. Phys. B 23 116105

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