Mixing and segregation of granular materials in chute flows

D. V. Khakhar*, J. J. McCarthy, J. M. Ottino

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

99 Scopus citations


Mixing of granular solids is invariably accompanied by segregation, however, the fundamentals of the process are not well understood. We analyze density and size segregation in a chute flow of cohesionless spherical particles by means of computations and theory based on the transport equations for a mixture of nearly elastic particles. Computations for elastic particles (Monte Carlo simulations), nearly elastic particles, and inelastic, frictional particles (particle dynamics simulations) are carried out. General expressions for the segregation fluxes due to pressure gradients and temperature gradients are derived. Simplified equations are obtained for the limiting cases of low volume fractions (ideal gas limit) and equal sized particles. Theoretical predictions of equilibrium number density profiles are in good agreement with computations for mixtures of equal sized particles with different density for all solids volume fractions, and for mixtures of different sized particles at low volume fractions (ν<0.2), when the particles are elastic or nearly elastic. In the case of inelastic, frictional particles the theory gives reasonable predictions if an appropriate effective granular temperature is assumed. The relative importance of pressure diffusion and temperature diffusion for the cases considered is discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)594-610
Number of pages17
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 1999

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Statistical and Nonlinear Physics
  • Mathematical Physics
  • Physics and Astronomy(all)
  • Applied Mathematics

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