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Partic. vol. 39 pp. 88-95 (August 2018)
doi: 10.1016/j.partic.2018.01.001

Effect of number of granulometric fractions on structure and micromechanics of compressed granular packings

Joanna Wiącek*, Marek Molenda, Mateusz Stasiak

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    • The granular packings with uniform discrete particle size distribution were generated. • Number of granulometric fractions affected structure and micromechanics of mixtures. • Number of fractions affected density of mixtures with small aspect ratio. • An average coordination number decreased with increasing number of fractions. • Composition of granular packings affected energy dissipation in system.


The role of number of grain size fractions on structural and mechanical properties of uniaxially compressed granular packings with a uniform particle size distribution in terms of number of particles and with various particle size dispersities was studied using the discrete element method. The study addressed packing density, coordination number, contact forces, global stress, and energy dissipation in assemblies composed of frictional spheres. Packing density was found to change with increasing number of granulometric fractions in mixtures with a small ratio of the diameters of the largest to smallest particles. Results indicated a certain value of particle size ratio below which the number of particle size fractions strongly affected packing density. The average coordination number decreased with increasing number of fractions. Detailed analysis of the effect of particle size dispersity on mechanical coordination number, including particles with no less than four contacts, revealed that, contrary to the average coordination number, the mechanical coordination number increased with increasing ratio of the diameters of the largest to smallest particles in the sample. The composition of polydisperse samples strongly affected stress distribution and energy dissipation in granular packings.

Graphical abstract


Granular packings; Granulometric fractions; Structure; Micromechanics; Discrete element method