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Journal Articles Scientific Reports Year : 2019

Ultrasonic tracking of a sinking ball in a vibrated dense granular suspension

Abstract

Observing and understanding the motion of an intruder through opaque dense suspensions such as quicksand remains a practical and conceptual challenge. Here we use an ultrasonic probe to monitor the sinking dynamics of a steel ball in a dense glass bead packing (3D) saturated by water. We show that the frictional model developed for dry granular media can be used to describe the ball motion induced by horizontal vibration. From this rheology, we infer the static friction coefficient and effective viscosity that decrease when increasing the vibration intensity. Our main finding is that the vibration-induced reduction of the yield stress and increase of the sinking depth are presumably due to micro-slips induced at the grain contacts but without visible plastic deformation due to macroscopic rearrangements, in contrast to dry granular packings. To explain these results, we propose a mechanism of acoustic lubrication that reduces the inter-particle friction and leads to a decrease of the yield stress. This scenario is different from the mechanism of liquefaction usually invoked in loosely packed quicksands where the vibration-induced compaction increases the pore pressure and decreases the confining pressure on the solid skeleton, thus reducing the granular resistance to external load.
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insu-03708955 , version 1 (30-06-2022)

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S. van den Wildenberg, X. Jia, J. Léopoldès, A. Tourin. Ultrasonic tracking of a sinking ball in a vibrated dense granular suspension. Scientific Reports, 2019, 9, 289, p. 75-89. ⟨10.1038/s41598-019-41749-2⟩. ⟨insu-03708955⟩
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