Exact solutions for steady granular flow in vertical chutes and pipes

Tom Barker, Chongqiang Zhu, Jin Sun

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Vertical chutes and pipes are a common component of many industrial apparatus used in the transport and processing of powders and grains. Here a typical arrangement is considered first in which a hopper at the top feeds the chute and a converging outlet at the bottom controls the mass flux. DEM simulations reveal that steady uniform flow is only observed for intermediate flow rates, with jamming and unsteady waves dominating slow flows and non-uniform wall detachment in fast flow. Focusing on the steady uniform regimes, a progressive idealisation is carried out by matching with equivalent DEM simulations in periodic cells. These investigations justify a one-dimensional continuum modelling of the problem and provide key test data. Here exact solutions of the linearised µ(I),Φ(I)-rheology are derived for vertical pipes for the first time. Despite not capturing the full non-linear complexities, the solutions match important aspects of the DEM flow fields and reveal simple scaling laws linking many quantities of interest. In particular, this study clearly demonstrates a linear relation between the chute width and the size of the shear zones at the walls. This finding contrasts previous works on purely quasistatic flow, which instead predict a roughly constant shear zone width, a difference which implies that finite-size effects are minimal for the inertial flows studied here.
Original languageEnglish
Article numberA21
Number of pages28
JournalJournal of Fluid Mechanics
Volume930
Early online date11 Nov 2021
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 11 Nov 2021

Keywords

  • Granular materials
  • materials processing flows
  • rheology

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