Granular gravitational collapse and chute flow
ExxonMobil Research and Engineering - 1545 Route 22 East Annandale, NJ 08801,
Corresponding author: email@example.com
Accepted: 3 October 2002
We argue that inelastic grains in a flow under gravitation tend to collapse into states in which the relative normal velocities of two neighboring grains is zero. If the time scale for this gravitational collapse is shorter than inverse strain rates in the flow, we propose that this collapse will lead to the formation of “granular eddies”, large-scale condensed structures of particles moving coherently with one another. The scale of these eddies is determined by the gradient of the strain rate. Applying these concepts to chute flow of granular media (gravitationally driven flow down inclined planes), we predict the existence of a bulk flow region whose rheology is determined only by flow density. This theory yields the “Pouliquen flow rule”, correlating different chute flows; it also accounts for the different flow regimes observed.
PACS: 81.05.Rm – Porous materials; granular materials / 47.50.+d – Non-Newtonian fluid flows / 83.60.Rs – Shear rate-dependent structure (shear thinning and shear thickening)
© EDP Sciences, 2002