Sheared Amorphous Packings Display Two Separate Particle Transport Mechanisms

Dong Wang, Joshua A. Dijksman, Jonathan Barés, Jie Ren, Hu Zheng*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Shearing granular materials induces nonaffine displacements. Such nonaffine displacements have been studied extensively, and are known to correlate with plasticity and other mechanical features of amorphous packings. A well known example is shear transformation zones as captured by the local deviation from affine deformation, Dmin2, and their relevance to failure and stress fluctuations. We analyze sheared frictional athermal disc packings and show that there exists at least one additional mesoscopic transport mechanism that superimposes itself on top of local diffusive motion. We evidence this second transport mechanism in a homogeneous system via a diffusion tensor analysis and show that the trace of the diffusion tensor equals the classic Dmin2 when this second mesoscopic transport is corrected for. The new transport mechanism is consistently observed over a wide range of volume fractions and even for particles with different friction coefficients and is consistently observed also upon shear reversal, hinting at its relevance for memory effects.

Original languageEnglish
Article number138001
JournalPhysical Review Letters
Issue number13
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2020

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