Dilatancy, jamming, and the physics of granulation

M E Cates, M D Haw, C B Holmes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Granulation is a process whereby a dense colloidal suspension is converted into pasty granules (surrounded by air) by application of shear. Central to the stability of the granules is the capillary force arising from the interfacial tension between solvent and air. This force appears capable of maintaining a granule in a jammed solid state, under conditions where the same amount of solvent and colloid could also exist as a flowable droplet. We argue that in the early stages of granulation the physics of dilatancy, which requires that a powder expand on shearing, is converted by capillary forces into the physics of arrest. Using a schematic model of colloidal arrest under stress, we speculate upon various jamming and granulation scenarios. Some preliminary experimental results on aspects of granulation in hard-sphere colloidal suspensions are also presented.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)S2517-S2531
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Physics: Condensed Matter
Issue number24
Publication statusPublished - 22 Jun 2005


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