The shear modulus of wet granular matterP. C. F. Møller1 and D. Bonn1, 2
1 Ecole Normale Supérieure, Laboratoire de Physique Statistique - Paris, F-75231 France
2 van der Waals-Zeeman Institute - 1018 XE Amsterdam, The Netherlands
received 21 May 2007; accepted in final form 9 September 2007; published November 2007
published online 2 October 2007
The strength of different wet granular materials is investigated as a function of the liquid volume fraction by measuring the elastic shear modulus, . We show that the optimum strength is achieved at a very low liquid volume fraction of 1-3%. Surprisingly we find that the macroscopic strength of different wet granular materials depends with a power of 2/3 on the microscopic elastic modulus of the individual grains, with a power of -1/3 on the radius, and with a power of 1/3 on the surface tension. This can be explained by assuming that the attractive capillary force between two grains deforms the grains elastically, yielding a "spring constant" for further deformation. Averaging over many grain-grain orientations allows us to predict the macroscopic shear modulus in excellent agreement with our experiments.
83.80.Fg - Granular solids.
© Europhysics Letters Association 2007