Collisional model of the drag force of granular impact
Department of Physics, Duke University, Durham, NC 27708, USA
Published online: 30 June 2017
A dense, dry granular target can cause a free-falling intruding object to come to an abrupt stop as its momentum is lost to the grains. An empirical force law describes this process, characterizing the stopping force as the sum of depth-dependent friction and velocity-dependent inertial drag. However, a complete interpretation of the stopping force, incorporating grain-scale interactions during impact, remains unresolved. Here, the momentum transfer is proposed to occur through sporadic, normal collisions with clusters of high force-carrying grains at the intruder’s surface. To test this model in impact experiments, we determine the forces acting on an intruder decelerating through a dense granular medium using high-speed imaging of its trajectory. We vary the geometry of the impacting object to infer intruder-grain interactions. As a result, we connect the inertial drag to the effect of intruder shape based on the proposed collisional model. These impact studies serve as an approach to understand dynamic force transmission in granular media.
© The Authors, published by EDP Sciences, 2017
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