3D-analysis of compaction in granular materials

Published: 5 March 2012

The research subjects Experimental Mechanics and Solid Mechanics have together with University of Oxford, UK been approved a four year project by Swedish Research Council. The project is called ”3D-analysis of compaction in granular materials” and the researchers Dr. Fredrik Forsberg Experimental Mechanics/LKAB, Assoc. Prof. Pär Jonsén Solid Mechanics and Dr. Clive Siviour Oxford University, UK will be working in the project.

The aim with the project is to improve the fundamental knowledge about interaction processes taking place in granular materials when exposed to loading.

The approach is to combine experimental studies with modelling and numerical analysis.  This is achieved by a close collaboration between researchers from both these disciplines. By combining x-ray microtomography (XMT) and 3D image analysis it is possible to quantify density, porosity, crack initiation and deformation at every point in the material. By performing these measurements at different stages during a loading process it is possible to characterize the material behaviour as function of the applied load. An important approach will be to combine experimental studies with modelling and numerical analysis. Here, the material models will be based on the imaged microstructure and optimized through comparison between the computational and experimental results. The project is divided into four major studies each having clear phenomenological purpose:

  1. The formation of shear zones during compaction, where the strength of the material is clearly reduced.
  2. The influence of load history on material strength.
  3. The variation in density and material strength with different die geometries
  4. The relation between grain size distribution and crack initiation.


The project started at 1st of January and is in the initial phase. Interesting research is upcoming for the research group.