Granular segregation in circular tumblers: Theoretical model and scaling laws

Conor P. Schlick, Yi Fan, Paul B. Umbanhowar, Julio M. Ottino, Richard M. Lueptow*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

59 Scopus citations


We model bidisperse size segregation of granular material in quasi-two-dimensional circular tumbler flow using the advection-diffusion transport equation with an additional term to account for segregation due to percolation. Segregation depends on three dimensionless parameters: the ratio of segregation to advection, Λ the ratio of advection to diffusion, Pe and the dimensionless flowing layer depth, The degree of segregation in steady state depends only on the ratio of segregation effects to diffusion effects, Λ,Pe, and the degree of segregation increases as ΛPe increases. The transient time to reach steady-state segregation depends only on advection, which is manifested in and Pe when Λ Pe is constant. This model is also applied to unsteady tumbler flow, where the rotation speed varies with time.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)632-652
Number of pages21
JournalJournal of fluid Mechanics
StatePublished - Feb 2015


  • complex fluids
  • granular media
  • granular mixing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering


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