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Materials Science at Oregon State University

Mechanical and Thermal Behaviors in Granular Materials

Date: Thursday, Dec 5th
Presenter: Prof. Matt Evans, OSU Civil Engineering


The discrete nature of granular materials results in myriad complex behaviors that are not readily described by continuum mechanics even though it may be tempting to treat them as continua when considering spatial scales that are large relative to some mean particle size. Treating granular assemblies as continua can result in models that fail to predict emergent phenomena or capture the inherent interplay between phases (air, water, solid), processes (thermal, hydraulic, mechanical), and scales (particle, specimen, design) that fully describe material behavior. This talk will present an overview of some of the mathematical and physical complexities of granular materials and describe approaches for simulating granular assemblies at the particle scale. Relationships between particle behavior and assembly behavior will be presented. A model for thermal conduction in granular media will serve as a practical example and provide insight into percolation in binary mixtures.

Matt Evans is an Associate Professor in the School of Civil and Construction Engineering at Oregon State University. Prior to coming to OSU he spent six years as an Assistant Professor at North Carolina State University. His research interests include granular mechanics, multiphysics processes, quantitative stereology, image processing and morphology, soil mechanics, and geotechnical engineering. He received his MS and PhD in civil engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology, a BS in civil engineering from the University of New Mexico, and a BA in physics from the University of Virginia.