Compression behavior of porous dust agglomerates
1 Institut für Astronomie and Astrophysik, Eberhard Karls Universität Tübingen, Auf der Morgenstelle 10, 72076 Tübingen, Germany
2 Physikalisches Institut, Eberhard Karls Universität Tübingen, Auf der Morgenstelle 14, 72076 Tübingen, Germany
Received: 20 January 2012
Accepted: 11 March 2012
Context. The early planetesimal growth proceeds through a sequence of sticking collisions of dust agglomerates. Very uncertain is still the relative velocity regime in which growth rather than destruction can take place. The outcome of a collision depends on the bulk properties of the porous dust agglomerates.
Aims. Continuum models of dust agglomerates require a set of material parameters that are often difficult to obtain from laboratory experiments. Here, we aim at determining those parameters from ab initio molecular dynamics simulations. Our goal is to improve on the existing model that describe the interaction of individual monomers.
Methods. We use a molecular dynamics approach featuring a detailed micro-physical model of the interaction of spherical grains. The model includes normal forces, rolling, twisting and sliding between the dust grains. We present a new treatment of wall-particle interaction that allows us to perform customized simulations that directly correspond to laboratory experiments.
Results. We find that the existing interaction model by Dominik & Tielens leads to a too soft compressive strength behavior for uni- and omni-directional compression. Upon making the rolling and sliding coefficients stiffer we find excellent agreement in both cases. Additionally, we find that the compressive strength curve depends on the velocity with which the sample is compressed.
Conclusions. The modified interaction strengths between two individual dust grains will lead to a different behavior of the whole dust agglomerate. This will influences the sticking probabilities and hence the growth of planetesimals. The new parameter set might possibly lead to an enhanced sticking as more energy can be stored in the system before breakup.
Key words: planets and satellites: formation / methods: numerical / protoplanetary disks
© ESO, 2012