Prediction of inter-particle capillary forces for non-perfectly wettable granular assemblies

Ouahid Harireche, Asaad Faramarzi, Amir M. Alani

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6 Citations (Scopus)
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At a moisture content that corresponds to the socalled pendular regime, granular assemblies are subjected to the development of inter-particle capillary forces. These forces provide a tensile resistance at the particle level, which results into a cohesion shear strength at the macroscopic scale. Granular assemblies with non-perfectly wettable particles show a non-zero contact angle between the liquid bridge and the particle surface. It is worth mentioning that such an angle is an intrinsic property of the particle pair in contact and the liquid bridge. Its value has a significant effect on the magnitude of the capillary force and its behaviour as a function of the particle separation distance. This study is mainly motivated by the large range of values of the contact angle observed experimentally. In this paper, the governing equations for non-perfectly wettable granular assemblies in the pendular regime are first developed using the toroidal approximation. A robust numerical procedure is then proposed to solve these equations. Experimental validation of the numerical model shows that the capillary forces are predicted with a very good accuracy. The influence of the contact angle on the predicted inter-particle capillary force is also discussed.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)537-543
Number of pages19
JournalGranular Matter
Issue number5
Early online date14 Aug 2015
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2015


  • Granular assemblies
  • Capillary forces
  • Non-perfectly wettable particles
  • Toroidal approximation


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