Predicting segregation of nonspherical particles

Ryan P. Jones, Julio M. Ottino, Paul B. Umbanhowar, Richard M. Lueptow*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Segregation, or demixing, of flowing mixtures of size-disperse noncohesive spherical particles is well understood. However, most particle systems in industry and geophysics involve nonspherical particles. Here, the segregation of bidisperse mixtures of millimeter-sized particles having various shapes is characterized using discrete element method simulations of gravity-driven free-surface granular heap flow. As a proxy for nonspherical particles, we study mixtures of cylindrical particles that vary widely in both their length and diameter ratios, including both disks and rods, as well as mixtures of cylindrical and spherical particles. The propensity to segregate is measured with a segregation length scale that characterizes the segregation velocity of the two species for these types of mixtures, identical to the approach for mixtures of spherical particles. Surprisingly, segregation can be predicted based solely on the volume ratio of the two species, regardless of particle shape. The segregation length scale increases linearly with the log of the volume ratio for volume ratios varying from 0.1 to 10 in the same way as it does for bidisperse mixtures of spherical particles. Thus, segregation properties based on spherical particles can be directly applied to nonspherical particles.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number054301
JournalPhysical Review Fluids
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2021

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computational Mechanics
  • Modeling and Simulation
  • Fluid Flow and Transfer Processes


Dive into the research topics of 'Predicting segregation of nonspherical particles'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this