Stability of clogging arches in a silo submitted to vertical vibrations
We present experimental results on the endurance of arches that block the outlet of a two-dimensional silo when subjected to vertical vibration. In a recent paper [C. Lozano et al., Phys. Rev. Lett. 109, 068001 (2012)], it was shown that the arch resistance against vibrations is determined by the maximum angle among those formed between each particle in the bridge and its two neighbors: the larger the maximum angle is, the weaker the bridge. It has also been reported that the breaking time distribution shows a power-law tail with an exponent that depends on the outlet size, the vibration intensity, and the load [I. Zuriguel et al., Sci. Rep. 4, 7324 (2014)]. Here we connect these previous works, demonstrating the importance of the maximum angle in the arch on the exponent of the breaking time distribution. Besides, we find that the acceleration needed to break an arch does not depend on the ramp rate of the applied acceleration, but it does depend on the outlet size above which the arch is formed. We also show that high frequencies of vibration reveal a change in the behavior of the arches that endure very long times. These arches have been identified as a subset with special geometrical features. Therefore, arches that cannot be broken by means of a given external excitation might exist.