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Professor Ian Bourg, Princeton University
Tuesday, January 30, 2024, 11:00am

Ian BourgWhy mud is sticky (or, how clay particles interact across thin water films) 

Clay-rich soils and sediments are abundant natural materials that consist predominantly of hydrated assemblages of fine-grained aluminosilicate minerals. These materials exhibit complex mechanical properties that control a variety of important natural and engineered processes including subsurface fluid migration, soil health (e.g., soil resilience to erosion and drought), geophysical hazards (subsidence, landslides, fault slip) as well as opportunities in additive manufacturing using Earth materials. The mechanics of clay-rich media include complex rheological properties, a strong cohesive character, and a tendency to swell or shrink significantly with changes in salinity or humidity. We present efforts to gain insight into the complex mechanics of clay-rich media using all-atom and coarse-grained molecular dynamics simulations. We show that key macroscopic-scale mechanical properties of clay-rich media emerge from nanometer-scale interactions between clay particles across thin water films. 

Hosted by Rick Remsing

~Coffee/tea will be served prior to the lecture~

Location CCB Auditorium (Room 1303)