The Physics of Protoplanetesimal Dust Agglomerates. IX. Mechanical Properties of Dust Aggregates Probed by a Solid-projectile Impact

Hiroaki Katsuragi1,2 and Jürgen Blum1
Astrophysical Journal 851, 23 Link to Article [DOI: 10.3847/1538-4357/aa970d]
1Institut für Geophysik und extraterrestrische Physik, Technische Universität zu Braunschweig, Mendelssohnstr. 3, D-38106 Braunschweig, Germany
2Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences, Nagoya University, Furocho, Chikusa, Nagoya, Aichi 464-8601, Japan

Dynamic characterization of mechanical properties of dust aggregates has been one of the most important problems to quantitatively discuss the dust growth in protoplanetary disks. We experimentally investigate the dynamic properties of dust aggregates by low-speed ($\leqslant $3.2 m s−1) impacts of solid projectiles. Spherical impactors made of glass, steel, or lead are dropped onto a dust aggregate with a packing fraction of phgr = 0.35 under vacuum conditions. The impact results in cratering or fragmentation of the dust aggregate, depending on the impact energy. The crater shape can be approximated by a spherical segment and no ejecta are observed. To understand the underlying physics of impacts into dust aggregates, the motion of the solid projectile is acquired by a high-speed camera. Using the obtained position data of the impactor, we analyze the drag-force law and dynamic pressure induced by the impact. We find that there are two characteristic strengths. One is defined by the ratio between impact energy and crater volume and is sime120 kPa. The other strength indicates the fragmentation threshold of dynamic pressure and is sime10 kPa. The former characterizes the apparent plastic deformation and is consistent with the drag force responsible for impactor deceleration. The latter corresponds to the dynamic tensile strength to create cracks. Using these results, a simple model for the compaction and fragmentation threshold of dust aggregates is proposed. In addition, the comparison of drag-force laws for dust aggregates and loose granular matter reveals the similarities and differences between the two materials.


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