Granular Matter

, 21:50 | Cite as

Visualization and measurement of load transmission in granular assemblies using mechanoluminescent-coated particles

  • Akihiko KondoEmail author
  • Daiki Takano
  • Eiji Kohama
  • Richard J. Bathurst
Original Paper


Glass beads were coated with a mixture of mechanoluminescent (ML) paint and epoxy resin in order to visualize particle-level force distribution through an analog granular material. SEM observation and X-ray CT scanning was used to verify that the application of the ML coating on the glass beads was uniform. Load tests were conducted on single columns of coated glass particles to equate luminance to diametrical forces transmitted through the particles and particle contacts. The relationship between loading (force) rate during elastic loading of the coated particles and luminance was determined using a column of beads placed in an axial loading device. Coated glass particles were placed in a transparent plane strain container and subjected to biaxial loading to visualize the load transmission through the analog granular material placed in a regular packing. The anisotropy of chains of load transmission during loading was detectable using this test arrangement. The sum of contact forces at the top container boundary deduced from particle luminance is shown to be in agreement with applied boundary loads. This novel technique holds promise as an alternative approach to visualize and measure load transmission through idealized 2D assemblies of granular material.


Granular material Force chains Mechanoluminescence 



The authors would like to thank Dr. Tsunemi Monma, President of Technopaudalton Co., Ltd., for his assistance with the particle coating method used in this study. The authors also thank Mr. Kenji Mori of Sakai Chemical Industry Co., Ltd. for assisting with the calibration methodology. Finally, the authors are grateful to the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science for financial support through the Grants-in-Aid for Young Scientists (B) 17K14725 program and for a research Grant from the Kajima Foundation.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare no conflict of interest.


  1. 1.
    Bathurst, R.J., Rothenburg, L.: Observations on stress-force-fabric relationships in idealized granular materials. Mech. Mater. 9, 65–80 (1990)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Rothenburg, L., Bathurst, R.J.: Analytical study of induced anisotropy in idealized granular materials. Geotechnique 39(4), 601–614 (1989)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Dantu, P.: Etude statistique des forces intergranulaires dans un milieu pulverulent. Geotechnique 18(1), 50–55 (1968)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Drescher, A., Jong, D.J.: Photoelastic verification of a mechanical model for the flow of a granular material. J. Mech. Phys. Solids 20(5), 337–340 (1972)ADSCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Majmudar, T.S., Behringer, R.P.: Contact force measurements and stress-induced anisotropy in granular materials. Nature 435, 1079–1082 (2005)ADSCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Hurley, R., Marteau, E., Ravichandran, G., Andrade, J.E.: Extracting inter-particle forces in opaque granular materials: beyond photoelasticity. J Mech. Phys. Solids 63, 154–166 (2014)ADSCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Hurley, R.C., Hall, S.A., Andrade, J.E., Wright, J.: Quantifying interparticle forces and heterogeneity in 3D granular materials. Phys. Rev. Lett. 117, 098005 (2016)ADSCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Andrade, J.E., Avila, C.F.: Granular element method (GEM): linking inter-particle forces with macroscopic loading. Granul. Matter 14, 51–61 (2012)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Chandra, B.P., Rathore, A.S.: Classification of mechanoluminescence. Cryst. Res. Technol. 30(7), 885–896 (1995)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Xu, C.N., Watanabe, T., Akiyama, M., Zheng, X.G.: Direct view of stress distribution in solid by mechanoluminescence. Appl. Phys. Lett. 74(17), 2414–2416 (1999)ADSCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Xu, C.N., Zheng, X.G., Akiyama, M., Nonaka, K., Watanabe, T.: Dynamic visualization of stress distribution by mechanoluminescence image. Appl. Phys. Lett. 76(2), 179–181 (2000)ADSCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Kim, W.-J., Lee, J.-M., Kim, J.-S., Lee, C.J.: Measuring high speed crack propagation in concrete fracture test using mechanoluminescent material. Smart Struct. Syst. 10(6), 547–555 (2012)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Terasaki, N., Xu, C.N.: Historical-log recording system for crack opening and growth based on mechanoluminescent Flexible Sensor. IEEE Sens. J. 13(10), 3999–4004 (2013)ADSCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Azad, A.I., Rahimi, M.R., Yun, G.J.: Quantitative full-field strain measurements by SAOED (SrAl2O4: Eu2 + , Dy3 +) mechanoluminescent materials. Smart Mater. Struct. 25(9), 095032 (2016)ADSCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    Chandra, B.P., Chandra, V.K., Mahobia, S.K., Jha, P., Tiwari, R., Haldar, B.: Real-time mechanoluminescence sensing of the amplitude and duration of impact stress. Appl. Phys. Lett. 102(5), 9–16 (2012)Google Scholar
  16. 16.
    Parikh, D.M.: Handbook of Pharmaceutical Granulation Technology. Taylor & Francis Group, Didcot (2005)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. 17.
    Foy, C.L., Pritchard, D.W.: Pesticide Formulation and Adjuvant Technology. CRC Press, Boca Raton (1996)Google Scholar
  18. 18.
    Ferreira, T. and Rasband, W.: ImageJ User Guide, U.S. National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland, USA, (2012). Accessed 4 Oct 2018
  19. 19.
    Rahimi, M.R.: Distributed stress sensing and non-destructive tests using mechanoluminescence materials. Doctoral dissertation, University of Akron (2015)Google Scholar
  20. 20.
    Deresiewicz, H.: Advances in Applied Mechanics. Academic Press Inc., New York (1958)zbMATHGoogle Scholar
  21. 21.
    Yun, G.J., Rahimi, M.R., Gandomi, A.H., Lim, G.C., Choi, J.S.: Stress sensing performance using mechanoluminescence of SrAl2O4: Eu (SAOE) and SrAl2O4:Eu, Dy (SAOED) under mechanical loadings. Smart Mater. Struct. 22, 055006 (2013)ADSCrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Akihiko Kondo
    • 1
    Email author
  • Daiki Takano
    • 1
  • Eiji Kohama
    • 1
  • Richard J. Bathurst
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Port and Airport Research Institute, National Institute of Maritime, Port and Aviation TechnologyYokosukaJapan
  2. 2.GeoEngineering Centre at Queen’s-RMC, Department of Civil EngineeringRoyal Military College of CanadaKingstonCanada

Personalised recommendations