Modeling and simulations of granular materials

Despite extensive study over the preceding decade, a fundamental understanding of the dynamics of granular materials still poses a challenge for physicists and engineers. In industrial applications, the handling of granular matter often involves friction and is therefore accompanied by triboelectric charging of the grains. Fascinating collective behavior appears when small particles acquire an electric charge and respond to competing long-range electromagnetic and short-range contact forces, leading to a large-scale structure formation. In order to elucidate qualitative features of coalescence dynamics we will develop Molecular Dynamics simulation of charged spheres in applied electric field. This will enable us to understand under which conditions Coulomb forces have an impact concerning the structure of granular matter or the morphology of deposited layer. Further, we will investigate the process of coating micrometer particles by small nanoparticles with the aim of improving the flow properties of the powder, and exploring the possibility of using Coulomb forces in a constructive manner to support the coating process.

Codes developed and used in these investigations: GRANULAR and RRSM.