The rheological behavior of a bed of packing material during its consolidation was investigated using an elastic-plastic model, the Frictional Material Model. This model takes into account the behavior of the packing material under compression stress, its consolidation, its internal friction, its friction against the column wall, and the dependence of the bed's permeability on the local void fraction. The complexity of the problem arises from the nonlinear behavior of the relationships between the critical parameters controlling the column bed behavior and the external stresses applied to this bed. Solutions of the model were calculated for combinations of axial compression and seepage stresses, the latter corresponding to the flow of the mobile-phase stream under typical conditions used in HPLC. The results demonstrate the importance of the internal angle of friction of the packing material used on the degree of radial and axial heterogeneity of the beds of chromatographic columns packed with this material.
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