Powder Technology, Vol.378, 659-666, 2021
Statistical investigation of structural and transport properties of densely-packed assemblies of overlapping spheres using the resistor network method
Relationships between microstructure characteristics and effective transport properties of granular materials are crucial for many real-world applications. In the present paper microstructure-property relationships of sphere packings are investigated by means of modeling and simulation. Virtual microstructures are generated with the random close packing algorithm. This algorithm provides initial systems of randomly distributed, non overlapping and densely-packed spheres of a given class of polydisperse size distributions. Next, the initial sphere packing is further densified until a certain criterion is reached, namely a predefined mean contact angle. In this way, we obtain a large database of slightly overlapping sphere systems. Subsequently, effective transport properties of the sphere systems (solid) and their complementary sets (pores) are determined using the computationally efficient resistor network method. Finally, the generated virtual microstructures are used to establish formulas expressing effective transport properties of the considered sphere packings in terms of the mean contact angle and the standard deviation of the particle radii. (C) 2020 Published by Elsevier B.V.