Radial granular segregation under chaotic flow in two-dimensional tumblers

Stephen E. Cisar*, Paul Umbanhowar, Julio M Ottino

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

29 Scopus citations


An initially well mixed granular material composed of two distinct subclasses of particles, small and large or light and heavy, segregates radially into stable lobed patterns when rotated in various quasi-two-dimensional, regular polygonal tumblers. The patterns are highly sensitive to the time-periodic flow, which in turn depends critically on the fill fraction and container shape. Simulations of a simple model reproduce the segregation patterns observed in experiment. Kolmogorov-Arnol'd-Moser (KAM) regions in Poincaré plots of the velocity field used to model the flow attract smaller (denser) particles and their spatial symmetries mirror those of the segregation patterns, suggesting that competition between the driving forces for radial segregation (percolation and buoyancy) and those for chaotic mixing plays a key role.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number051305
JournalPhysical Review E - Statistical, Nonlinear, and Soft Matter Physics
Issue number5
StatePublished - Nov 24 2006

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physics and Astronomy(all)
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Statistical and Nonlinear Physics
  • Mathematical Physics


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