Jamming in frictionless packings of spheres: determination of the critical volume fraction Conference Paper uri icon


  • The jamming transition in granular packings is characterized by a sudden change in the coordination number. In this work we investigate the evolution of coordination number as function of volume fraction for frictionless packings of spheres undergoing isotropic deformation. Using the results obtained from Discrete Element Method simulations, we confirm that the coordination number depends on volume fraction by a power law with exponent a 0.5 above the critical volume fraction and up to rather high densities. We find that the system size and loading rate do not have an important effect on the evolution of the coordination number. Polydispersity of the packing seems to cause a shift in the critical volume fraction, i.e., more heterogeneous packings jam at higher volume fractions. Finally, we propose and evaluate alternative methods to determine the critical volume fraction based on the number of rattlers, the pressure and the ratio of kinetic and potential energies. The results are all consistent with the critical volume fractions obtained from the fits of the power law to the simulation data. © 2009 American Institute of Physics.

author list (cited authors)

  • Göncü, F., Durán, O., & Luding, S.

publication date

  • January 1, 2009 11:11 AM


  • AIP  Publisher