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Phys Rev E Stat Nonlin Soft Matter Phys. 2012 Dec;86(6 Pt 1):061309. Epub 2012 Dec 13.

Bending and elongation effects on the random packing of curved spherocylinders.

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Department of Mechanics and Aerospace Engineering, College of Engineering, Peking University, Beijing 100871, China.


Studies on the macroscopic and microscopic packing properties of nonconvex particles are scarce. As a common concave form, the curved spherocylinder is used in the simulations, and its bending and elongation effects on the random packings are investigated numerically with sphere assembly models and a relaxation algorithm. The aspect ratio is demonstrated to be the main factor regarding the packing density. However, at certain aspect ratios of low densities around 0.3-0.4, the density of curved spherocylinders may increase by 15% more than that of the straight ones, indicating that bending is also a contributor to the packing density. The excluded volume of the curved spherocylinder decreases with the increase of the bending angle, indicating that the excluded volume is applicable in explaining the bending effect on the packing density variation of nonconvex particles. The packings are verified to be randomly distributed in orientation with no significant layering or in-plane order. The local arrangements are further analyzed from the radial distribution function and contact results. The results show that the random packings of nonconvex particles have significant differences and richer characteristics on both the macroscopic and microscopic properties compared with convex objects.

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