Segregation of granular materials in bounded heap flow: A review

Yi Fan*, Karl V. Jacob, Ben Freireich, Richard M. Lueptow

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

65 Scopus citations


Heap formation occurs widely in industry when particulate materials are filled into vessels such as hoppers, silos, bulk bags and bins. If the bulk materials are composed of particles with different size, shape, material density or surface properties, they tend to segregate spatially during heap formation. In most industrial settings, heap segregation is unwanted, because the inhomogeneity of the composition is detrimental for product quality and also can potentially impact subsequential processes. In this paper, we review previous efforts on understanding physical mechanisms and developing predictive models for heap segregation in the past a few decades. We also aim to provide a general picture of what have been learned from previous experimental, computational, and theoretical work and what are still missing for understanding and predicting heap segregation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)67-88
Number of pages22
JournalPowder Technology
StatePublished - May 1 2017


  • Continuum modeling
  • Granular segregation
  • Heap flow

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Chemical Engineering


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