In dense flowing bidisperse particle mixtures varying in size or density alone, smaller particles sink (percolation-driven) and lighter particles rise (buoyancy-driven). But when particle species differ from each other in both size and density, percolation and buoyancy can either enhance (large/light and small/heavy) or oppose (large/heavy and small/light) each other. In the latter case, a local equilibrium can exist in which the two mechanisms balance and particles remain mixed: this allows the design of minimally segregating mixtures by specifying particle size ratio, density ratio, and mixture concentration. Using DEM simulations, we show that mixtures specified by the design methodology remain relatively well-mixed in heap and tumbler flows. Furthermore, minimally segregating mixtures prepared in a fully segregated state in a tumbler mix over time and eventually reach a nearly uniform concentration. Tumbler experiments with large steel and small glass particles validate the DEM simulations and the potential for designing minimally segregating mixtures.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere18032
JournalAIChE Journal
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2023


  • granular flow
  • heaps
  • mixing
  • non-segregating
  • segregation
  • tumblers

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Environmental Engineering
  • General Chemical Engineering


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