Pressure dependence of the electrical transport in granular materials

M. Creyssels1, 2, C. Laroche2, E. Falcon3 and B. Castaing3

1 Laboratoire de Mécanique des Fluides et Acoustique, Ecole centrale de Lyon, CNRS, Univ. de Lyon, 69134 Ecully, France
2 Univ Paris Diderot, Sorbonne Cité, MSC, CNRS, UMR 7057, 75 013 Paris, France
3 Laboratoire des Ecoulements G´eophysiques et Industriels, Univ. Grenoble Alpes, CNRS, 38058 Grenoble, France

Reference: Eur. Phys. J. E 40, 56 (2017)


Key words: Flowing Matter: Granular Matter


We report on systematic measurements of the electrical resistance of one- and three-dimensional (1D and 3D) metallic and oxidized granular materials under uni-axial compression. Whatever the dimension of the packing, the resistance follows a power law versus the pressure (R ~ Pa), with an exponent a much larger than the ones expected either with elastic or plastic contact between the grains. A simple model based on a statistical description of the micro-contacts between two grains is proposed. It shows that the strong dependence of the resistance on the pressure applied to the granular media is a consequence of large variabilities and heterogeneities present at the contact surface between two grains. Then, the effect of the three-dimensional structure of the packing is investigated using a renormalization process. This allows to reconcile two extreme approaches of a 3D lattice of widely distributed resistances: the effective medium and the percolation theories.

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