The flow of granular materials and metallic glasses is governed by strongly correlated, avalanche-like deformation. Recent comparisons focused on the scaling regimes of the small avalanches, where strong similarities were found in the two systems. Here, we investigate the regime of large avalanches by computing the temporal profile or “shape” of each one, i.e., the time derivative of the stress-time series during each avalanche. We then compare the experimental statistics and dynamics of these shapes in granular media and bulk metallic glasses. We complement the experiments with a mean-field model that predicts a critical size beyond which avalanches turn into large runaway events. We find that this transition is reflected in a characteristic change of the peak width of the avalanche profile from broad to narrow, and we introduce a new metric for characterizing this dynamic change. The comparison of the two systems points to the same deformation mechanism in both metallic glasses and granular materials.
Long, Alan A.; Denisov, Dmitry; Schall, Peter; Hufnagel, Todd C.; Gu, Xiaojun; Wright, Wendelin J.; and Dahmen, Karin A.. "From Critical Behavior to Catastrophic Runaways: Comparing Sheared Granular Materials with Bulk Metallic Glasses." Granular Matter (2019) : 99-1-99-8.