We study slip-avalanches in two-dimensional soft athermal disks by quasi-static simulations of simple shear deformations. Sharp drops in shear stress, or slip-avalanches, are observed intermittently during steady state. Such stress drops are caused by restructuring of the contact networks, accompanied by drastic changes of the interaction forces, Δf. The changes of the forces happen heterogeneously in space, indicating that collective non-affine motions of the disks are most pronounced when slip-avalanches occur. We analyze and predict the statistics for the force changes, Δf, by transition rates of the contact forces and angles, where slip-avalanches are characterized by wide power-law tails. We find that the transition rates are described by a q-Gaussian distribution regardless of the area fraction of the disks. Because the transition rates quantify structural changes of the force-chains, our findings are an important step towards linking macroscopic observations to a microscopic theory of slip-avalanches in the experimentally accessible quasi-static regime.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Condensed Matter Physics