Steady flow dynamics during granular impact

Abram H. Clark, Lou Kondic, Robert P. Behringer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Scopus citations


We study experimentally and computationally the dynamics of granular flow during impacts where intruders strike a collection of disks from above. In the regime where granular force dynamics are much more rapid than the intruder motion, we find that the particle flow near the intruder is proportional to the instantaneous intruder speed; it is essentially constant when normalized by that speed. The granular flow is nearly divergence free and remains in balance with the intruder, despite the latter's rapid deceleration. Simulations indicate that this observation is insensitive to grain properties, which can be explained by the separation of time scales between intergrain force dynamics and intruder dynamics. Assuming there is a comparable separation of time scales, we expect that our results are applicable to a broad class of dynamic or transient granular flows. Our results suggest that descriptions of static-in-time granular flows might be extended or modified to describe these dynamic flows. Additionally, we find that accurate grain-grain interactions are not necessary to correctly capture the granular flow in this regime.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number050901
JournalPhysical Review E
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 19 2016

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Statistical and Nonlinear Physics
  • Statistics and Probability
  • Condensed Matter Physics


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