Volume 81, Number 5, March 2008
Article Number 54001
Number of page(s) 6
Section Electromagnetism, Optics, Acoustics, Heat Transfer, Classical Mechanics, and Fluid Dynamics
Published online 31 January 2008
EPL, 81 (2008) 54001
DOI: 10.1209/0295-5075/81/54001

Drag-induced particle segregation with vibrating boundaries

J. J. Wylie1, Q. Zhang1, H. Y. Xu2 and X. X. Sun1

1  Department of Mathematics, City University of Hong Kong - Tat Chee Avenue, Kowloon, Hong Kong
2  Condensed Matter Physics Laboratory, Heinrich-Heine-Universitat - Universitatsstrasse 1, 40225 Dusseldorf, Germany

received 11 October 2007; accepted in final form 4 January 2008; published March 2008
published online 31 January 2008

We consider a system composed of two different types of particles that have different radii, but equal density. Both particles experience gravity and a linear drag force from the interstitial fluid. They are excited by a boundary that vibrates with high frequency and adds sufficient energy that the particles near the boundary become highly dilated. For moderate energy input rates we show that a single large particle introduced into a large number of small particles will rapidly move to a fixed height and remain approximately stationary. In particular, the large particle will never come into contact with the vibrating base. If there are a large number of large particles, then this behavior leads to a very distinct segregation in which the large particles are sandwiched between two layers of small particles. We show that this behavior occurs as a direct result of non-equilibrium effects and develop a simple phenomenological model that gives good predictions of the height at which the sandwiched layer occurs.

45.70.-n - Granular systems.

© EPLA 2008