Textural equilibrium melt geometries around tetrakaidecahedral grains.

21 May 2018

In textural equilibrium, partially molten materials minimise the total surface energy bound up in grain boundaries and grain-melt interfaces. Here, numerical calculations of such textural equilibrium geometries are presented for a space-filling tessellation of grains with a tetrakaidecahedral (truncated octahedral) unit cell. Two parameters determine the nature of the geometries: the porosity and the dihedral angle. A variety of distinct melt topologies occur for different combinations of these two parameters, and the boundaries between different topologies has been determined. For small dihedral angles, wetting of grain boundaries occurs once the porosity has exceeded 11%. An exhaustive account is given of the main properties of the geometries: their energy, pressure, mean curvature, contiguity, and areas on cross-sections and faces. Their effective permeabilities have been calculated, and demonstrate a transition between a quadratic variation with porosity at low porosities to a cubic variation at high porosities.