Physical test of a particle simulation model in a sheared granular system
We report a detailed comparison of a slow gravity-driven sheared granular flow with a discrete-element simulation performed in the same geometry. In the experiments, grains flow inside a silo with a rectangular cross section and are sheared by a rough boundary on one side and smooth boundaries on the other sides. Individual grain position and motion are measured using a particle index-matching imaging technique where a fluorescent dye is added to the interstitial liquid which has the same refractive index as the glass beads. The simulations use a Cundall-Strack contact model between the grains using contact parameters that have been used in many other previous studies and ignore the hydrodynamic effects of the interstitial liquid. Computations are performed to understand the effect of particle coefficient of friction, elasticity, contact model, and polydispersity on mean flow properties. We then perform a detailed comparison of the particle fluctuation properties as measured by the displacement probability distribution function and the mean square displacement. All in all, our study suggests a high level of quantitative agreement between the simulations and experiments.
Keywords: Granular flow: mixing, segregation and stratification, Computer modeling and simulation