In the last decade, the behavior of granular materials has great significance for chemical engineering and petroleum engineering. This multiple process can affect how a granular material responds when exposed to external perturbations. Traditional studies mainly focus on the macroscopic performance of granular materials by using experimental methods, which tend to be implicitly agnostic to granular structures, however, there are few reports on the mechanism of the mechanism such as the mechanism of rupture and evolution. To address this challenge, we treat granular materials as spatially-embedded networks in which the particles (nodes) are connected by weighted edges. We employ community detection network analysis method to find sets of closely connected particle clusters and characteristic chain-like structure that is reminiscent of force chains based on the discrete element method. A group of tightly connected communities and branching chain structures are founded and the three-dimensional properties of granular materials under different fluid conditions are studied. The results show that the granular contact network exhibit a very clear community structure and network analysis method provides new viewpoints to underlying and generate a new perspective of describing granular material problem compared with traditional methods. The distribution of force chain is consistent with an exponential distribution and the high-pressure force chain network exhibit compact instead of branching structure communities. And granular matter displays traits of self-organization forming complex force network which arrange in response to applied load or compression and more specifically force network rearranges prominently when the applied pressure is disturbed. These results provide new tools for considering and reducing descriptions for the structure of force chain network.
Keywords granular material; force chain network structure; community detection method; numerical simulation