Scaling laws for impact fragmentation of spherical solids

G. Timár, F. Kun, H. A. Carmona, H. J. Herrmann

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

37 Citations (Scopus)


We investigate the impact fragmentation of spherical solid bodies made of heterogeneous brittle materials by means of a discrete element model. Computer simulations are carried out for four different system sizes varying the impact velocity in a broad range. We perform a finite size scaling analysis to determine the critical exponents of the damage-fragmentation phase transition and deduce scaling relations in terms of radius R and impact velocity v 0 . The scaling analysis demonstrates that the exponent of the power law distributed fragment mass does not depend on the impact velocity; the apparent change of the exponent predicted by recent simulations can be attributed to the shifting cutoff and to the existence of unbreakable discrete units. Our calculations reveal that the characteristic time scale of the breakup process has a power law dependence on the impact speed and on the distance from the critical speed in the damaged and fragmented states, respectively. The total amount of damage is found to have a similar behavior, which is substantially different from the logarithmic dependence on the impact velocity observed in two dimensions.

Original languageEnglish
Article number016113
JournalPhysical Review E - Statistical, Nonlinear, and Soft Matter Physics
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jul 27 2012

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Statistical and Nonlinear Physics
  • Statistics and Probability
  • Condensed Matter Physics

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