Macroscopic behavior of vibrating beds of smooth inelastic spheres

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Three-dimensional granular dynamics simulations are carried out to investigate macroscopic behavior of granular materials subjected to vibrations. Particles, idealized as smooth inelastic, uniform spheres, are gravitationally loaded into a rectangular periodic cell having an open top and plane floor. Vibrations to the bed are subsequently imposed through the sinusoidally oscillated floor. Significant differences in the character of the bed are found, depending on the strength of the applied floor accelerations Γ = aω2, even if the boundary input energy is fixed. At high acceleration values, a dense upper region is supported on a fluidized low-density region near the floor. The temperature is maximum at the floor and monotonically attenuates upward, while the solids fraction profile peaks at some intermediate depth. When lower accelerations are applied, the granular temperature no longer decreases monotonically from the bottom to the top and the solids fraction depth profile bulges at approximately three diameters from the floor. The surface of the bed appears chaotic and fluidized, where a low solids fraction and high temperature occurs. The bed height, which remains almost constant below 1.2g, undergoes a pronounced expansion when 1.2g≤Γ≤2. 0g, and subsequently flattens out at Γ≅2.8g. Computed granular temperature and solids fraction depth profiles are in good agreement with recent kinetic theory predictions when the acceleration is large enough, while bed expansion at lower accelerations is quantitatively consistent with existing experimental data.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1818-1831
Number of pages14
JournalPhysics of Fluids
Issue number8
StatePublished - 1995

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Computational Mechanics
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Fluid Flow and Transfer Processes


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