Segregation by friction

L. Kondic, R. R. Hartley, S. G.K. Tennakoon, B. Painter, R. P. Behringer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


Granular materials are known to separate by size under a variety of circumstances. Experiments presented here and elucidated by modeling and MD simulation document a new segregation mechanism, namely segregation by friction. The experiments are carried out by placing steel spheres on a horizontal plane enclosed by rectangular sidewalls, and subjecting them to horizontal shaking. Half the spheres are highly smooth; the remainder are identical to the first half, except that their surfaces have been roughened by chemical etching, giving them higher coefficients of friction. Segregation due to this difference in friction occurs, particularly when the grains have a relatively long mean free path. In the presence of an appropriately chosen small "hill" in the middle of the container, the grains can be made to completely segregate by friction type.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)742-748
Number of pages7
JournalEurophysics Letters
Issue number6
StatePublished - Mar 2003

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Physics and Astronomy


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