We study the percolation of a fine spherical particle under gravity in static randomly packed large-particle beds with different packing densities φ and large to fine particle size ratios R ranging from 4 to 7.5 using discrete element method simulations. The particle size ratio at the geometrical trapping threshold, defined by three touching large particles, Rt=3/(2-3)=6.464, divides percolation behavior into passing and trapping regimes. However, the mean percolation velocity and diffusion of untrapped fine particles, which depend on both R and φ, are similar in both regimes and can be collapsed over a range of R and φ with the appropriate scaling. An empirical relationship for the local percolation velocity based on the local pore throat to fine particle size ratio and packing density is obtained, which is valid for the full range of size ratio and packing density we study. Similarly, in the trapping regime, the probability for a fine particle to reach a given depth is well described by a simple statistical model. Finally, the percolation velocity and fine particle diffusion are found to decrease with increasing restitution coefficient.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number014903
JournalPhysical Review E
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2023

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Statistical and Nonlinear Physics
  • Statistics and Probability


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