Influence of loading pulse duration on dynamic load transfer in a simulated granular medium

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An experimental and numerical investigation was conducted to study the dynamic response of granular media when subjected to impact loadings with different periods or wavelengths. The granular medium was simulated by a one-dimensional assembly of circular disks arranged in a straight single chain. In the experimental study, the dynamic loading was produced using projectile impact from a gas gun onto one end of the granular assembly, and the measured wave signal was collected using strain gages. The numerical simulations were conducted using the distinct element method. It was found from the experiments and numerical simulations that input waves with a short period (τ ≈ 90 μs) will propagate in this granular medium with little waveform change under steady amplitude attenuation ; whereas longer waves (τ $ ̌200 μs) will propagate with significant waveform dispersion. For these longer wavelength signals, the smooth waveform will undergo separation into a series of short oscillatory signals, and this rearrangement of energy allows a portion of the transmitted signal to increase in amplitude during the initial phases of propagation. Thus the granular medium acts as a nonlinear wave guide, and local microstructure and contact nonlinearity will allow input signals of sufficiently long wavelength to excite resonant sub-units of the medium to produce this observed ringing separation. Following a modeling scheme originally proposed by Nesterenko [J. Appl. Mech. Tech. Phys. 5,733 (1983)], a nonlinear wave equation model was developed which is related to soliton dynamics and leads to travelling wave solutions of specific wavelength found in our experimental and numerical studies. © 1993.

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Journal of the Mechanics and Physics of Solids