Evaporation-induced evolution of the capillary force between two grains



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© 2014, Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg.The evolution of capillary forces during evaporation and the corresponding changes in the geometrical characteristics of liquid (water) bridges between two glass spheres with constant separation are examined experimentally. For comparison, the liquid bridges were also tested for mechanical extension (at constant volume). The obtained results reveal substantial differences between the evolution of capillary force due to evaporation and the evolution due to extension of the liquid bridges. During both evaporation and extension, the change of interparticle capillary forces consists in a force decrease to zero either gradually or via rupture of the bridge. At small separations between the grains (short & wide bridges) during evaporation and at large volumes during extension, there is a slight initial increase of force. During evaporation, the capillary force decreases slowly at the beginning of the process and quickly at the end of the process; during extension, the capillary force decreases quickly at the beginning and slowly at the end of the process. Rupture during evaporation of the bridges occurs most abruptly for bridges with wider separations (tall and thin), sometimes occurring after only 25% of the water volume was evaporated. The evolution (pinning/depinning) of two geometrical characteristics of the bridge, the diameter of the three-phase contact line and the “apparent” contact angle at the solid/liquid/gas interface, seem to control the capillary force evolution. The findings are of relevance to the mechanics of unsaturated granular media in the final phase of drying.






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Mielniczuk, B, T Hueckel and MSE Youssoufi (2014). Evaporation-induced evolution of the capillary force between two grains. Granular Matter, 16(5). pp. 815–828. 10.1007/s10035-014-0512-6 Retrieved from https://hdl.handle.net/10161/10759.

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Tomasz Hueckel

Professor Emeritus in the Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering

Tomasz Hueckel received his master's degree in civil engineering from the University of Technology in Gdansk, Poland, in 1968, his Ph.D. in applied mechanics from the Polish Academy of Sciences in Warsaw, in 1974, and the D.Sc. in physical sciences from the University of Grenoble, France, in 1985. He started his research career at the Polish Academy of Sciences in Warsaw, then taught at the University of Rome and the University of Technology in Milan before joining ISMES, a research institute in Bergamo, Italy, where he was responsible for research on geomechanical aspects of nuclear waste disposal in clays, a subject in which he continues to be strongly involved. He came to Duke in 1987.

Dr. Hueckel's research interest is in theoretical soil mechanics, rock mechanics, and environmental geomechanics, as well as in theory of plasticity. His current projects deal with thermo-plasticity and chemo-plasticity of clays, and in general in mechanics of materials composed of chemically reacting solids and liquids. He is interested in fundamental aspects of soil drying and cracking, and processes of soil aging and healing. The above subjects involve mathematical modeling and model driven laboratory experiments. He also is interested in basic aspects of theory of plasticity, such as stability and localization. His research is applied to hydraulic geo-barriers affected either by chemically hazardous liquids or nuclear waste heat, to prediction of petroleum production induced compaction and subsidence, as well as desiccation damage.

Dr. Hueckel is a co-founder and co-Editor-in Chief (2015) of Geomechanics for Energy and the Environment, an Elsevier journal.  He has published also in International Journal of Solids and Structures, International Journal of Engineering Science, Pure and Applied Geophysics, Surveys in Geophysics, Engineering Geology, Engineering Fracture Mechanics, International Journal of Rock Mechanics and Mining Engineering, International Journal of Numerical and Analytical Methods in Geomechanics, Computers and Geotechnics, International Journal of Soils and Foundations, Journal de Mecanique, Canadian Geotechnical Journal, Meccanica, Ingenieur- Archiv, and the ASCE Journal of Geotechnical Engineering. He has also contributed to numerous books on the state of the art. Dr. Hueckel is heavily involved in international research cooperation, collaborating and co-authoring with Belgian, Italian, French, Polish, Spanish and Swiss researchers. He is or was a member of the editorial board of the Journal of Numerical and Analytical Methods in Geomechanics, the Archive of Applied Mechanics and of the International Journal of Mechanics of Cohesive and Frictional Materials, ASCE Journals of Geotechnical and Geoenvironmental Engineering and ASCE International Journal of Geomechanics, Italian Geotechnical Journal and Studia Geotechnica et Mechanica (Polish).

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