Volume 80, Number 3, November 2007
Article Number 34004
Number of page(s) 6
Section Electromagnetism, Optics, Acoustics, Heat Transfer, Classical Mechanics, and Fluid Dynamics
Published online 01 October 2007
EPL, 80 (2007) 34004
DOI: 10.1209/0295-5075/80/34004

Shear bands in granular flow through a mixing-length model

R. Artoni, A. Santomaso and P. Canu

Dipartimento di Principi e Impianti di Ingegneria Chimica "I. Sorgato", Università di Padova - Via Marzolo 9, 35131 Padova, Italy

received 7 May 2007; accepted in final form 10 September 2007; published November 2007
published online 1 October 2007

We discuss the advantages and results of using a mixing-length, compressible model to account for the shear banding behaviour in granular flow. We formulate a general approach based on two functions of the solid fraction to be determined. Studying the vertical chute flow, we show that the shear band thickness is always independent of flow rate in the quasistatic limit, for Coulomb wall boundary conditions. The effect of bin width is addressed using the functions developed by Pouliquen and coworkers, predicting a linear dependence of shear band thickness on channel width, while the literature reports contrasting data. We also discuss the influence of wall roughness on shear bands. Through a Coulomb wall friction criterion we show that our model correctly predicts the effect of increasing wall roughness on the thickness of shear bands. Then a simple mixing-length approach to steady granular flows can be useful and representative of a number of original features of granular flow.

47.57.Gc - Granular flow.
81.05.Rm - Porous materials; granular materials.
47.50.-d - Non-Newtonian fluid flows.

© Europhysics Letters Association 2007