Home » RESEARCH » Arching


Grains in a container tend to form cooperative structures where particles mutually support each other. These structures are called arches. It is simple to observe arches when they block an orifice, but is complex to detect the arches that appear inside a granular packing. By means of simulations, we have designed techniques to detect such arches. We have observed that tapping a container with grains we can increase or reduce the number and size of the arches which is correlated with the density of the sample. Moreover, we have shown, by analyzing contact forces, that grains in arches tend to sustain a larger proportion of the weight of the material.


  1. European Physical Journal E 35, 44 (2012): C. M. Carlevaro, L. A. Pugnaloni, Arches and contact forces in a granular pile
  2. Physical Review E 82, 031306_1-031306_7 (2010): A. Garcimartín, I. Zuriguel, L.A. Pugnaloni, A. Janda, Shape of jamming arches in two-dimensional deposits of granular materials
  3. Granular Matter 11, 53-61 (2009): A.M. Vidales, L.A. Pugnaloni, I. Ippolito, Compaction and arching in tapped pentagon deposits
  4. Physical Review E 74, 021303_1-021303_8 (2006): R. Arévalo, D. Maza, L.A. Pugnaloni, Identification of arches in two-dimensional granular packings
  5. Physical Review E 73, 051302_1-051302_6 (2006): L.A. Pugnaloni, M.G.Valluzzi, L.G. Valluzzi, Arching in tapped deposits of granular disks
  6. Physica A 337, 428-442 (2004): L.A. Pugnaloni, G.C. Barker, Structure and distribution of arches in shaken hard sphere deposits
  7. Advances in Complex Systems 4, 289-297 (2001): L.A. Pugnaloni, G.C. Barker, A. Mehta, Multi-particle structures in non-sequentially reorganized hard sphere deposits