Dynamically tessellating algorithm for analysis of pore size distribution in particle agglomerates

Mark Benedict, Meenakshi Dutt, James Elliott

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

3 Scopus citations


We describe a novel physical application of the OctTree data structure [P. Meagher, Comput. Graphics Image Process 19(2) (1982) 129-147] in a dynamically tessellating algorithm, in conjunction with an object-oriented, constructive solid geometry library (DOC), to efficiently determine pore size distributions in large multi-particle systems. We apply the DOC library to investigate the evolving dynamics of pore formation in multi-particle systems, such as a mixture of smooth hard cubes and spheres and a collection of frictional soft spheres. We demonstrate that the algorithm is able to provide insight into the effect of structural changes on the porosity network; for example, during the uniaxial compaction of soft spheres, we find the number density of pores increases while the mean volume of the pores decreases. This trend is responsible for a shift in the distribution of the pore volumes to favour smaller volumes. We anticipate that the DOC method will have wider applications in the area of granular materials for studying the changes in pore structure in both experimental and numerical systems as a complement to the analysis of particle packing.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)465-474
Number of pages10
JournalPhysica A: Statistical Mechanics and its Applications
Issue number2
StatePublished - May 15 2007
Externally publishedYes


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Statistics and Probability
  • Condensed Matter Physics


  • Compaction
  • Granular materials
  • Object-oriented algorithm
  • Particle packing
  • Porosity

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