Shear-induced segregation of particles by material density

Yi Fan, K. M. Hill

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

18 Scopus citations


Recently, shear rate gradients and associated gradients in velocity fluctuations (e.g., granular temperatures or kinetic stresses) have been shown to drive segregation of different-sized particles in a manner that reverses at relatively high solids fractions ((f)>0.50). Here we investigate these effects in mixtures of particles differing in material density through computational and theoretical studies of particles sheared in a vertical chute where we vary the solids fraction from (f)=0.2 to 0.6. We find that in sparse flows, (f)=0.2 to 0.4, the heavier (denser) particles segregate to lower shear rates similarly to the heavier (larger) particles in mixtures of particles differing only in size. However, there is no segregation reversal at high f in mixtures of particles differing in density. At all solids fractions, heavier (denser) particles segregate to regions of lower shear rates and lower granular temperatures, in contrast with segregation of different-sized particles at high f, where the heavier (larger) particles segregate to the region of higher shear rates. Kinetic theory predicts well the segregation for both types of systems at low f but breaks down at higher f's. Our recently proposed mixture theory for high f granular mixtures captures the segregation trends well via the independent partitioning of kinetic and contact stresses between the two species. In light of these results, we discuss possible directions forward for a model framework that encompasses segregation effects more broadly in these systems.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number022211
JournalPhysical Review E - Statistical, Nonlinear, and Soft Matter Physics
Issue number2
StatePublished - Aug 25 2015

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