Volume 86, Number 4, May 2009
Article Number 46003
Number of page(s) 6
Section Condensed Matter: Structural, Mechanical and Thermal Properties
Published online 26 May 2009
EPL, 86 (2009) 46003
DOI: 10.1209/0295-5075/86/46003

Critical states and phase diagram in the packing of uniform spheres

K. J. Dong, R. Y. Yang, R. P. Zou, X. Z. An and A. B. Yu

Laboratory for Simulation and Modeling of Particulate Systems, School of Materials Science and Engineering, University of New South Wales - Sydney, NSW 2052, Australia

received 6 February 2009; accepted in final form 27 April 2009; published May 2009
published online 26 May 2009

This paper presents a study of the structural transition of the packing of uniform spheres with a wide range of packing fractions. Several critical states are identified including the onset of local jamming, onset of global jamming and maximally random jammed (MRJ) states. With the increase of packing fraction $\rho $, the packing structure transforms from one-dimensional chains to two-dimensional triangles and finally three-dimensional tetrahedra, correspondingly undergoing phase changes from non-jamming to local jamming, global jamming, MRJ and finally crystal structure. There is a competition between FCC (face-centred cubic) and HCP (hexagonal closed packed) in the transition from disordered to ordered structure with the increase of $\rho $. HCP can transform to FCC after reaching its maximum at $\rho $ = 0.7.

61.43.-j - Disordered solids.
61.43.Gt - Powders, porous materials.
61.43.Bn - Structural modeling: serial-addition models, computer simulation.

© EPLA 2009