Y. Guo, C. Wassgren, W. Ketterhagen, B. Hancock, B. James, J. Curtis. A numerical study of granular shear flows of rod-like particles using the discrete element method

Journal of Fluid Mechanics, 2012-12-01

Abstract: The effect of particle aspect ratio and surface geometry on granular flows is assessed by performing numerical simulations of rod-like particles in simple shear flows using the discrete element method (DEM). The effect of particle surface geometry is explored by adopting two types of particles: glued-spheres particles and true cylindrical particles. The particle aspect ratio varies from one to six. Compared to frictionless spherical particles, smaller stresses are obtained for the glued-spheres and cylindrical particle systems in dilute and moderately dense flows due to the loss of translational energy, which is partially converted to rotational energy, for the non-spherical particles. For dilute granular flows of non-spherical particles, stresses are primarily affected by the particle aspect ratio rather than the surface geometry. As the particle aspect ratio increases, the effective particle projected area in the plane perpendicular to the flow direction increases, so that the probability of the occurrence of the particle collisions increases, leading to a reduction in particle velocity fluctuation and therefore a decrease in the stresses. Hence, a simple modification is made to the kinetic theory for granular flows to describe the stress tensors for dilute flows of non-spherical particles by incorporating a normalized effective particle projected area to account for the effect of particle collision probability. For dense granular flows, the stresses depend on both the particle aspect ratio and the surface geometry. Sharp stress increases at high solid volume fractions are observed for the glued-spheres particles with large aspect ratios due to the bumpy surfaces, which impede the flow. However, smaller stresses are obtained for the true cylindrical particles with large aspect ratios at high solid volume fractions. This trend is attributed to the combined effects of the smooth particle surfaces and the particle alignments such that the major/long axes of particles are aligned in the flow direction. In addition, the apparent friction coefficient, defined as the ratio of shear to normal stresses, is found to decrease as the particle aspect ratio increases and/or the particle surface becomes smoother at high solid volume fractions.

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