Granular silo flow of inelastic dumbbells: Clogging and its reduction
We study the discharge of inelastic, two-dimensional dumbbells through an orifice in the bottom wall of a silo using discrete element method (DEM) simulations. As with spherical particles, clogging may occur due to the formation of arches of particles around the orifice. The clogging probability decreases with increasing orifice width in both cases. For a given width, however, the clogging probability is much higher for the nonspherical particles due to their arbitrary orientations and the possibility of geometrical interlocking. We also examine the effect of placing a fixed, circular obstacle above the orifice. The clogging probability depends strongly on the vertical and lateral position of the obstacle, as well as its size. By suitably placing the obstacle the clogging probability can be significantly reduced compared to a system with no obstacle. We attempt to elucidate the clogging reduction mechanism by examining the packing fraction, granular temperature, and velocity distributions of the particles in the vicinity of the orifice.
Keywords: Granular flows