Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Phys Rev Lett. 2006 Apr 14;96(14):145505. Epub 2006 Apr 14.

Role of interparticle forces in the formation of random loose packing.

Author information

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

Erratum in

  • Phys Rev Lett. 2006 Apr 28;96(16):169903.


We present a physical and numerical study of the settling of uniform spheres in liquids and show that interparticle forces play a critical role in forming the so-called random loose packing (RLP). Different packing conditions give different interparticle forces and, hence, different RLP. Two types of interparticle forces are identified: process dependent and process independent. The van der Waals force, as the major cohesive force in the present study, plays a critical role in effecting the process-dependent forces such as drag and lift forces. An equation is formulated to describe the relationship between the macroscopic packing fraction and microscopic interparticle forces in a packing. We argue there is no lowest packing fraction for a mechanically stable RLP; hence, the packing fractions of RLP can range from 0 to 0.64 depending on the cohesive and frictional conditions between particles.

PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for American Physical Society
    Loading ...
    Support Center