An accurate first-passage simulation technique formulated by the authors [J. Appl. Phys. 68, 3892 (1990)] is employed to compute the effective conductivity σe of distributions of penetrable (or overlapping) spheres of conductivity σ2 in a matrix of conductivity σ1. Clustering of particles in this model results in a generally intricate topology for virtually the entire range of sphere volume fractions φ2 (i.e., 0≤φ2≤1). Results for the effective conductivity σe are presented for several values of the conductivity ratio α=σ2/σ1, including superconducting spheres (α=∞) and perfectly insulating spheres (α=0), and for a wide range of volume fractions. The data are shown to lie between rigorous three-point bounds on σe for the same model. Consistent with the general observations of Torquato [J. Appl. Phys. 58, 3790 (1985)] regarding the utility of rigorous bounds, one of the bounds provides a good estimate of the effective conductivity, even in the extreme contrast cases (α≫1 or α≅0), depending upon whether the system is below or above the percolation threshold.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Physics and Astronomy(all)