Granular Material Conductivity Increases in Mysterious Ways Under Pressure

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April 7, 2018 | Originally published by Date Line: April 7 on

Scientists reveal how electrical resistance in metallic granular media decreases as the pressure on the micro-contact interface between the grains increases.

In a recent study published in EPJ E, a French team of physicists made systematic measurements of the electrical resistance – which is inversely related to conductivity – of metallic, oxidised granular materials in a single 1D layer and in 3D under compression. Mathieu Creyssels from the Ecole Centrale of Lyons, Ecully, France, and colleagues showed that the granular medium conducts electricity in a way that is dictated by the non-homogenous contacts between the grains. These finding have implications for industrial applications based on metallic granular material.