packing structure in a material impacts macro-scopic behavior such as
heat-transfer rates, flow maldistribution, and mechanical
properties. Effective methods for characterizing packing structure
are a first step toward establishing links between these
two important scales.
We use both computer-generated and real materials to gain insight into factors such as orientational
ordering of particles, wall effects, spatial correlations
in structure, and the effects of particle shape and size
distribution on density limits. Particle-scale data sets
are also used as the framework for computational modeling
modeling of flow, transport, and mechanical properties in
these materials. Simulations of this type provide
important information about the relationship between packing structure
and macroscopic behavior.