Tunable Wave Propagation in Granular Crystals by Altering Lattice Network Topology

Raj Kumar Pal, Robert F. Waymel, Philippe H. Geubelle, John Lambros

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We develop a framework for wave tailoring by altering the lattice network topology of a granular crystal consisting of spherical granules in contact. The lattice topology can alternate between two stable configurations, with the spherical granules of the lattice held in stable equilibrium in each configuration by gravity. Under impact, the first configuration results in a wave with rapidly decaying amplitude as it propagates along a primary chain, while the second configuration results in a solitary wave propagating along the primary chain with no decay. The mechanism to achieve such tunability is by having energy diverted to the granules adjacent to the primary chain in the first case but not the second. The tunable design of the proposed network is validated using both numerical simulations and experiments. In terms of potential applications, the proposed bistable lattice network can be viewed either as a wave attenuator or as a device that allows higher amplitude wave propagation in one direction than in the opposite direction. The lattice is analogous to a crystal phase transformation due to the change in atomic configurations, leading to the change in properties at the macroscale.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number011005
JournalJournal of Engineering Materials and Technology, Transactions of the ASME
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2017

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Materials Science(all)
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering


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