Conduction in Compacted Granular Materials


This project will focus on developing a unified constitutive model for granular heat flow and electrical conduction by combining critical fine-scale effects emerging under extreme conditions, including grain plasticity, grain melting, grain convection, and thermal pressurisation, through particle-based micromechanics.


Dr Yixiang Gan

Research Location

Civil Engineering

Program Type



Granular materials are frequently subjected to extreme loading conditions, i.e. conditions that involve high compaction, severe shearing and elevated temperatures. Understanding their thermo-mechanical and/or electro-mechanical behaviour is essential in many applications, e.g. for optimising and reducing risks in granular heat exchangers, fast charging and discharging phases in Li-ion batteries and resolving the rate-and-state behaviour in fault dynamics. Current model predictions are mostly limited to moderate loading conditions. The aim of this project is to quantify how the extreme phenomena of melting, grain plasticity, and thermal pressurisation affect heat flow and electrical conduction in granular media. This project will focus on developing both a novel computational approach and a rigorous homogenisation scheme to describe these emerging phenomena.

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granular materials, thermal conductivity, electrical conductivity

Opportunity ID

The opportunity ID for this research opportunity is: 1638