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On the Measurements of Individual Particle Properties Via Compression and Crushing

An experimental study is presented to measure the elastic, yielding, and crushing properties of individual particles under compression using substrates made of aluminum alloy, stainless steel, and sapphire. Carefully selected, highly spherical individual Ottawa sand particles of 0.75-1.1 mm in nominal diameter were compressed between two smooth substrates, and the load-deformation curves were analyzed by Hertz elastic contact theory to derive their reduced modulus and Young's modulus as well as yielding and crushing strengths, which vary significantly with the type of substrate materials. Further analysis of the yielding and plastic deformation at the particle-substrate contact shows that the yield strength or hardness of the substrate materials dominates the local contact behavior and hence affects the measured apparent yielding and crushing strengths. The two softer substrates (aluminum alloy and stainless steel) actually lead to underestimated apparent shear yield strengths of quartz particles by 60.4% and 54.2%, respectively, which are actually the yielding of substrates, while the true particle yielding occurs in the sapphire-particle contact. Moreover, the two softer substrates cause much overestimated crushing strengths of the quartz particles by 50.4% and 36.4%, respectively. Selection of inappropriate substrate materials and inappropriate interpretation of the particle-substrate contact can lead to significant errors in the measured yielding and crushing strengths. It is recommended that single particle compression testing uses substrates with yield strength greater than that of the tested particles and result interpretation also considers the elastic and yielding behaviors of the substrates. (C) 2021 Institute of Rock and Soil Mechanics, Chinese Academy of Sciences. Production and hosting by Elsevier B.V.
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