Nonaffine deformation under compression and decompression of a flow-stabilized solid

TitleNonaffine deformation under compression and decompression of a flow-stabilized solid
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2016
AuthorsOrtiz, CP, Riehn, R, Daniels, KE
JournalCondensed Soft Matter
Date Published04/2016

Understanding the particle-scale transition from elastic deformation to plastic flow is central to making predictions about the bulk material properties and response of disordered materials. To address this issue, we perform experiments on flow-stabilized solids composed of micron-scale spheres within a microfluidic channel, in a regime where particle inertia is negligible. Each solid heap exists within a stress gradient imposed by the flow, and we track the positions of particles in response to single impulses of fluid-driven compression or decompression. We find that the resulting deformation field is well-decomposed into an affine field, with a constant strain profile throughout the solid, and a non-affine field. The magnitude of this non-affine response decays with the distance from the free surface in the long-time limit, suggesting that the distance from jamming plays a significant role in controlling the length scale of plastic flow. Finally, we observe that compressive pulses create more rearrangements than decompressive pulses, an effect that we quantify using the D2 min statistic for nonaffine motion. Unexpectedly, the time scale for the compression response is shorter than for decompression at the same strain (but unequal pressure), providing insight into the coupling between deformation and cage-breaking.