Granular flow in a wedge-shaped heap: Velocity field, kinematic scalings, and segregation

Austin B. Isner, Paul B. Umbanhowar, Julio M. Ottino, Richard M. Lueptow*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Free surface granular flows in bounded axisymmetric geometries are poorly understood. Here, we consider the kinematics and segregation of size-bidisperse flow in a rising conical heap by characterizing the flow of particles in a wedge-shaped silo with frictional sidewalls using experiments and discrete-element-method simulations. We find that the streamwise velocity is largest at the wedge centerline and decreases near the sidewalls, and that velocity profiles in the depthwise and spanwise directions are self-similar. For segregating size bidisperse mixtures, the boundary between small and large particles deposited on the heap is significantly further upstream at the sidewalls than at the centerline, indicating that measurements taken at transparent sidewalls of quasi-2D or wedge-shaped heaps are unrepresentative of an axisymmetric heap. The streamwise velocity and flowing layer depth locally satisfy the scaling relation of Jop et al (J Fluid Mech. 2005;541:167-192) when modified to account for the wedge geometry, highlighting the influence of wall friction on the flow.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere16912
JournalAIChE Journal
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 1 2020


  • conical heap
  • discrete element method
  • granular flow
  • segregating flow

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Environmental Engineering
  • Chemical Engineering(all)


Dive into the research topics of 'Granular flow in a wedge-shaped heap: Velocity field, kinematic scalings, and segregation'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this