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Real-time visualization of dynamic particle contact failures

Niranjan D. Parab, Matthew Hudspeth, Ben Claus, Zherui Guo, Tao Sun, Kamel Fezzaa, and Weinong W. Chen

(Soda-Lime Glass: 600-710, 1000-1180, 1700-2000um)

(Barium Titanate Glass: 850-1000um)

(Yttrium Stabilized Zirconia: 780-850um)


Granular materials are widely used to resist impact and blast. Under these dynamic loadings, the constituent particles in the granular system fracture. To study the fracture mechanisms in brittle particles under dynamic compressive loading, a high speed X-ray phase contrast imaging setup was synchronized with a Kolsky bar apparatus. Controlled compressive loading was applied on two contacting particles using the Kolsky bar apparatus and fracture process was captured using the high speed X-ray imaging setup. Five different particles were investigated: soda-lime glass, polycrystalline silica (silicon dioxide), polycrystalline silicon, barium titanate glass, and yttrium stabilized zirconia. For both soda lime glass and polycrystalline silica particles, one of the particles fragmented explosively, thus breaking into many small pieces. For Silicon and barium titanate glass particles, a finite number of cracks were observed in one of the particles causing it to fracture. For yttrium stabilized zirconia particles, a single meridonial crack developed in one of the particles, breaking it into two parts.