Revistas

Revista:
PHYSICAL REVIEW E

ISSN 2470-0045
Vol. 106
N° 3
Año 2022
Págs.34904

The discharge of elongated particles from a silo with rotating bottom is investigated numerically. The introduction of a slight transverse shear reduces the flow rate Q by up to 70% compared with stationary bottom, but the flow rate shows a modest increase by further increasing the external shear. Focusing on the dependency of flow rate Q on orifice diameter D, the spheres and rods show two distinct trends. For rods, in the small-aperture limit Q seems to follow an exponential trend, deviating from the classical power-law dependence. These macroscopic observations are in good agreement with our earlier experimental findings [Phys. Rev. E 103, 062905 (2021)]. With the help of the coarse-graining methodology we obtain the spatial distribution of the macroscopic density, velocity, kinetic pressure, and orientation fields. This allows us detecting a transition from funnel to mass flow pattern caused by the external shear. Additionally, averaging these fields in the region of the orifice reveals that the strong initial decrease in Q is mostly attributed to changes in the flow velocity, while the weakly increasing trend at higher rotation rates is related to increasing packing fraction. Similar analysis of the grain orientation at the orifice suggests a correlation of the flow rate magnitude with the vertical orientation and the packing fraction at the orifice with the order of the grains. Lastly, the vertical profile of mean acceleration at the center of the silo denotes that the region where the acceleration is not negligible shrinks significantly due to the strong perturbation induced by the moving wall.

Revista:
GRANULAR MATTER

ISSN 1434-5021
Vol. 24
N° 2
Año 2022
Págs.42

In the present work, we investigate experimentally and numerically the motion of solid macroscopic spheres (Brownian and colloidal effects are negligible) when settling from rest in a quiescent fluid toward a solid wall under confined and unconfined configurations. Particle trajectories for spheres of two types of materials are measured using a high-speed digital camera. For unconfined configurations, our experimental findings are in excellent agreement with well-established analytical frameworks, used to describe the forces acting on the sphere. Besides, the experimental values of the terminal velocity obtained for different confinements are also in very good agreement with previous theoretical formulations. Similar conditions are simulated using a resolved CFD-DEM approach. After adjusting the parameters of the numerical model, we analyze the particle dynamic under several confinement conditions. The simulations results are contrasted with the experimental findings, obtaining a good agreement. We analyze several systems varying the radius of the bead and show the excellent agreement of our results with previous analytical approaches. However, the results indicate that confined particles have a distinct dynamics response when approaching the wall. Consequently, their motion cannot be described by the analytical framework introduced for the infinite system. Indeed, the confinement strongly affects the spatial scale where the particle is affected by the bottom wall and, accordingly, the dimensionless results can not be collapsed in a single master curve, using the particle size as a characteristic length. Alternatively, we rationalize our findings using a kinematic approximation to highlight the relevant scale of the problem. Our outcomes suggest it is possible to determine a new spatial scale to describe the collisional process, depending on the specific confining conditions.

Revista:
SOFT MATTER

ISSN 1744-683X
Vol. 18
N° 17
Año 2022
Págs.3335 - 3341

This work is devoted to study numerically the self-diffusion of spherocylindrical particles flowing down an inclined plane, using the discrete element method (DEM). This system is challenging due to particles being non-spherical and because they are subjected to a non-uniform shear rate. We performed simulations for several aspect ratios and inclination angles, tracking individual particle trajectories. Using the simulation data, we computed the diffusion coefficients D, and a coarse-graining methodology allowed accessing the shear rate spatial profiles (y)over dot (z). This data enabled us to identify the spatial regions where the diffusivity strongly correlates with the local shear rate. Introducing an effective particle size d(perpendicular to), we proposed a well-rationalized scaling law between D and (y)over dot. Our findings also identified specific locations where the diffusivity does not correlate with the shear rate. This observation corresponds to zones where has non-linear spatial variation, and the velocity probability density distributions exhibit asymmetric shapes.

Revista:
SCIENTIFIC REPORTS

ISSN 2045-2322
Vol. 12
N° 1
Año 2022
Págs.2647

The emergence of coherent vortices has been observed in a wide variety of many-body systems such as animal flocks, bacteria, colloids, vibrated granular materials or human crowds. Here, we experimentally demonstrate that pedestrians roaming within an enclosure also form vortex-like patterns which, intriguingly, only rotate counterclockwise. By implementing simple numerical simulations, we evidence that the development of swirls in many-particle systems can be described as a phase transition in which both the density of agents and their dissipative interactions with the boundaries play a determinant role. Also, for the specific case of pedestrians, we show that the preference of right-handed people (the majority in our experiments) to turn leftwards when facing a wall is the symmetry breaking mechanism needed to trigger the global counterclockwise rotation observed.

Revista:
NEW JOURNAL OF PHYSICS

ISSN 1367-2630
Vol. 24
Año 2022
Págs.103036

The time evolution of silo discharge is investigated for different granular materials made of spherical or elongated grains in laboratory experiments and with discrete element model (DEM) calculations. For spherical grains, we confirm the widely known typical behavior with constant discharge rate (except for initial and final transients). For elongated particles with aspect ratios between 2 < L/d < 6.1, we find a peculiar flow rate increase for larger orifices before the end of the discharge process. While the flow field is practically homogeneous for spherical grains, it has strong gradients for elongated particles with a fast-flowing region in the middle of the silo surrounded by a stagnant zone. For large enough orifice sizes, the flow rate increase is connected with a suppression of the stagnant zone, resulting in an increase in both the packing fraction and flow velocity near the silo outlet within a certain parameter range.

Revista:
THE EUROPEAN PHYSICAL JOURNAL CONFERENCES

ISSN 2101-6275
Vol. 249
Año 2021
Págs.04004

Granular gases are interesting multiparticle systems which, irrespective of the apparent simplicity of particle interactions, exhibit a rich scenario of so far only little understood features. We have numerically investigated a dense granular gas composed of frictional spherocylinders which are excited mechanically by lateral vibrating container walls. This study was stimulated by experiments in microgravity on parabolic flights. The formation of spatial inhomogeneities (clusters) was observed in a region near the corners of the container, about halfway from the excitation plates. The particles in the clusters show a tendency to align parallel to the container walls, seemingly increasing the stabilizing effect of friction. The simulation results provide hints that the phase difference of the vibrations of the two excitation walls might affect the cluster dynamics.

Revista:
THE EUROPEAN PHYSICAL JOURNAL CONFERENCES

ISSN 2101-6275
Vol. 249
Año 2021
Págs.04003

Some years ago, Harth et al. experimentally explored the steady state dynamics of a heated granular gas of rod-like particles in microgravity [K. Harth et al. Phys. Rev. Lett. 110, 144102 (2013)]. Here, we report numerical results that quantitatively reproduce their experimental findings and provide additional insight into the process. A system of sphero-cylinders is heated by the vibration of three flat side walls, resulting in one symmetrically heated direction, one non-symmetrically heated direction, and one non-heated direction.

Revista:
GRANULAR MATTER

ISSN 1434-5021
Vol. 23
N° 4
Año 2021
Págs.86

We present a critical comparative analysis between numerical and experimental results of quasi-two-dimensional silo and hopper flows. In our approach, the Discrete Element Method was employed to describe a single-layer mono-disperse sphere confined by two parallel walls with an orifice at the bottom. As a first step, we examined the discharge process, varying the size of the outlet and the hopper angle. Next, we set the simulation parameters fitting the experimental flow rate values obtained experimentally. Remarkably, the numerical model captured the slight non-monotonic dependence of the flow rate with the hopper angle, which was detected experimentally. Additionally, we analyzed the vertical velocity and solid fractions profiles at the outlet numerically and experimentally. Although numerical results also agreed with the experimental observations, a slight deviation appeared systematically between both approaches. Finally, we explored the impact of the system's confinement on this process, examining the consequences of particle-particle and particle-wall friction on the system macroscopic response. We mainly found that the degree of confinement and particle-wall friction have a relevant impact on the outflow dynamics. Our analysis demonstrated that the naive 2D approximation of this 3D flow process fails to describe it accurately.

Revista:
JOURNAL OF STATISTICAL MECHANICS-THEORY AND EXPERIMENT

ISSN 1742-5468
Vol. 2021
N° 4
Año 2021
Págs.043401

We report experimental results of the speed-density relation emerging in pedestrian dynamics when individuals keep a prescribed safety distance among them. To this end, we characterize the movement of a group of people roaming inside an enclosure varying different experimental parameters: (i) global density, (ii) prescribed walking speed, and (iii) suggested safety distance. Then, by means of the Voronoi diagram we are able to compute the local density associated to each pedestrian, which is afterward correlated with its corresponding velocity at each time. In this way, we discover a strong dependence of the speed-density relation on the experimental conditions, especially with the (prescribed) free speed. We also observe that when pedestrians walk slowly, the speed-density relation depends on the global macroscopic density of the system, and not only on the local one. Finally, we demonstrate that for the same experiment, each pedestrian follows a distinct behavior, thus giving rise to multiple speed-density curves.

Revista:
SCIENTIFIC REPORTS

ISSN 2045-2322
Vol. 11
N° 1
Año 2021
Págs.1534

With people trying to keep a safe distance from others due to the COVID-19 outbreak, the way in which pedestrians walk has completely changed since the pandemic broke out1,2. In this work, laboratory experiments demonstrate the effect of several variables-such as the pedestrian density, the walking speed and the prescribed safety distance-on the interpersonal distance established when people move within relatively dense crowds. Notably, we observe that the density should not be higher than 0.16 pedestrians per square meter (around 6 m2 per pedestrian) in order to guarantee an interpersonal distance of 1 m. Although the extrapolation of our findings to other more realistic scenarios is not straightforward, they can be used as a first approach to establish density restrictions in urban and architectonic spaces based on scientific evidence.

Revista:
NEW JOURNAL OF PHYSICS

ISSN 1367-2630
Vol. 23
Año 2021
Págs.023001

Granular flow out of a silo is studied experimentally and numerically. The time evolution of the discharge rate as well as the normal force (apparent weight) at the bottom of the container is monitored. We show that particle stiffness has a strong effect on the qualitative features of silo discharge. For deformable grains with a Young modulus of about Ym ¿ 40 kPa in a silo with basal pressure of the order of 4 kPa, lowering the friction coefficient leads to a gradual change in the discharge curve: the flow rate becomes filling height dependent, it decreases during the discharge process. For hard grains with a Young modulus of about Ym ¿ 500 MPa the flow rate is much less sensitive to the value of the friction coefficient. Using DEM data combined with a coarse-graining methodology allows us to compute all the relevant macroscopic fields, namely, linear momentum, density and stress tensors. The observed difference in the discharge in the low friction limit is connected to a strong difference in the pressure field: while for hard grains Janssen-screening is effective, leading to high vertical stress near the silo wall and small pressure above the orifice region, for deformable grains the pressure above the orifice is larger and gradually decreases during the discharge process. We have analyzed the momentum balance in the region of the orifice (near the location of the outlet) for the case of soft particles with low friction coefficient, and proposed a phenomenological...

Revista:
SOFT MATTER

ISSN 1744-6848
Vol. 17
N° 16
Año 2021
Págs.4282 - 4295

We study the outflow dynamics and clogging phenomena of mixtures of soft, elastic low-friction spherical grains and hard frictional spheres of similar size in a quasi-two-dimensional (2D) silo with narrow orifice at the bottom. Previous work has demonstrated the crucial influence of elasticity and friction on silo discharge. We show that the addition of small amounts, even as low as 5%, of hard grains to an ensemble of soft, low-friction grains already has significant consequences. The mixtures allow a direct comparison of the probabilities of the different types of particles to clog the orifice. We analyze these probabilities for the hard, frictional and the soft, slippery grains on the basis of their participation in the blocking arches, and compare outflow velocities and durations of non-permanent clogs for different compositions of the mixtures. Experimental results are compared with numerical simulations. The latter strongly suggest a significant influence of the inter-species particle friction.

Revista:
GRANULAR MATTER

ISSN 1434-7636
Vol. 23
N° 2
Año 2021
Págs.34

In this work, we reported experimental and numerical results of granular flows in silos and hoppers. We used a very flexible experimental setup, allowing us to explore the entire domain of the hopper angles. In addition, the granular flow was also studied numerically using Computational Fluid Dynamics. First, the numerical protocol was validated, comparing the output with experimental data of mass flow rate. In general, we obtained a good quantitative agreement between numerical and experimental results using a single set of the model parameters. Remarkably, the numerical results reproduced very well the weak non-monotonic behavior of the mass flow rate dependence on the hopper angle obtained experimentally. Stepping forward, we examined the scaling properties of the simulated velocity v(r) and density (r) profiles at the outlet region. Finally, we also analyzed the velocity and volume fraction field inside the silo. The outcomes suggested that fast dynamics at orifice perturbs the system distinctly, depending on the hopper angle. Interestingly, small and large angles showed a larger zone of influence in comparison with intermediate angles.

Autores:
Puzyrev, D. (Autor de correspondencia); Fischer, D.; Harth, K.; et al.

Revista:
SCIENTIFIC REPORTS

ISSN 2045-2322
Vol. 11
N° 1
Año 2021
Págs.10621

Granular multiparticle ensembles are of interest from fundamental statistical viewpoints as well as for the understanding of collective processes in industry and in nature. Extraction of physical data from optical observations of three-dimensional (3D) granular ensembles poses considerable problems. Particle-based tracking is possible only at low volume fractions, not in clusters. We apply shadow-based and feature-tracking methods to analyze the dynamics of granular gases in a container with vibrating side walls under microgravity. In order to validate the reliability of these optical analysis methods, we perform numerical simulations of ensembles similar to the experiment. The simulation output is graphically rendered to mimic the experimentally obtained images. We validate the output of the optical analysis methods on the basis of this ground truth information. This approach provides insight in two interconnected problems: the confirmation of the accuracy of the simulations and the test of the applicability of the visual analysis. The proposed approach can be used for further investigations of dynamical properties of such media, including the granular Leidenfrost effect, granular cooling, and gas-clustering transitions.

Revista:
PHYSICAL REVIEW E

ISSN 2470-0045
Vol. 102
N° 1
Año 2020
Págs.010902(R)

We report experimental evidence of clogging due to the spontaneous development of hanging arches when a granular sample composed of spherical particles flows down a narrow vertical pipe. These arches, akin to the ones responsible for silo clogging, can only be possible due to the role of frictional forces; otherwise they will be unstable. We find that, contrary to the silo case, the probability of clogging in vertical narrow tubes does not decrease monotonically with the ratio of the pipe-to-particle diameters. This behavior is related to the clogging prevention caused by the spontaneous ordering of particles apparent in certain aspect ratios. More importantly, by means of numerical simulations, we discover that the interparticle normal force distributions broaden in systems with higher probability of clogging. This feature, which has been proposed before as a distinctive feature of jamming in sheared granular samples, suggests that clogging and jamming are connected in pipe flow.

Revista:
SAFETY SCIENCE

ISSN 0925-7535
Vol. 121
Año 2020
Págs.394 - 402

We report experimental measurements obtained during the evacuation of 180 soldiers through a narrow door. Several conditions are analyzed in the evacuation drills, such as the degree of competitiveness (from rush to shove) and the influence of an obstacle placed before the exit. From the data, we compute the flow rate through the door and the velocity and density fields, as well as a map of the local evacuation time. We also present novel results on the pressure that the individuals exert on the wall adjacent to the door. Our study challenges the idea that an obstacle could be beneficial for pedestrian evacuations because of a hypothetical alleviation of pressure at the door. At the same time, we discover a correlation among the largest pressure peaks and the development of clogging.

Revista:
PHYSICAL REVIEW E

ISSN 2470-0045
Vol. 102
N° 4
Año 2020

Very recently, To et al. have experimentally explored granular flow in a cylindrical silo, with a bottom wall that rotates horizontally with respect to the lateral wall [Phys. Rev. E 100, 012906 (2019)]. Here we numerically reproduce their experimental findings, in particular, the peculiar behavior of the mass flow rate Q as a function of the frequency of rotation f. Namely, we find that for small outlet diameters D the flow rate increased with f, while for larger D a nonmonotonic behavior is confirmed. Furthermore, using a coarse-graining technique, we compute the macroscopic density, momentum, and the stress tensor fields. These results show conclusively that changes in the discharge process are directly related to changes in the flow pattern from funnel flow to mass flow. Moreover, by decomposing the mass flux (linear momentum field) at the orifice into two main factors, macroscopic velocity and density fields, we obtain that the nonmonotonic behavior of the linear momentum is caused by density changes rather than by changes in the macroscopic velocity. In addition, by analyzing the spatial distribution of the kinetic stress, we find that for small orifices increasing rotational shear enhances the mean kinetic pressure < p(k)> and the system dilatancy. This reduces the stability of the arches, and, consequently, the volumetric flow rate increases monotonically. For large orifices, however, we detected that < p(k)> changes nonmonotonically, which might explain the ...

Revista:
PHYSICAL REVIEW E

ISSN 2470-0045
Vol. 102
N° 1 - 1
Año 2020

We explore the role that the obstacle position plays in the evacuation time of agents when leaving a room. To this end, we simulate a system of nonsymmetric spherocylinders that have a prescribed desired velocity and angular orientation. In this way, we reproduce the nonmonotonous dependence of the pedestrian flow rate on the obstacle distance to the door. For short distances, the obstacle delays the evacuation because the exit size is effectively reduced; i.e., the distance between the obstacle and the wall is smaller than the door width. By increasing the obstacle distance to the door, clogging is reduced leading to an optimal obstacle position (maximum flow rate) in agreement with results reported in numerical simulations of pedestrian evacuations and granular flows. For further locations, however, a counterintuitive behavior occurs as the flow rate values fall again below the one corresponding to the case without obstacle. Analyzing the head-times distribution, we evidence that this new feature is not linked to the formation of clogs, but is caused by a reduction of the efficiency of the agent's instantaneous flow rate when the exit is not blocked.

Revista:
SCIENTIFIC REPORTS

ISSN 2045-2322
Vol. 10
N° 1
Año 2020
Págs.3207

Projectile impact into a light granular material composed of expanded polypropylene (EPP) particles is investigated systematically with various impact velocities. Experimentally, the trajectory of an intruder moving inside the granular material is monitored with a recently developed non-invasive microwave radar system. Numerically, discrete element simulations together with coarse-graining techniques are employed to address both dynamics of the intruder and response of the granular bed. Our experimental and numerical results of the intruder dynamics agree with each other quantitatively and are in congruent with existing phenomenological model on granular drag. Stepping further, we explore the 'microscopic' origin of granular drag through characterizing the response of granular bed, including density, velocity and kinetic stress fields at the mean-field level. In addition, we find that the dynamics of cavity collapse behind the intruder changes significantly when increasing the initial speed . Moreover, the kinetic pressure ahead of the intruder decays exponentially in the co-moving system of the intruder. Its scaling gives rise to a characteristic length scale, which is in the order of intruder size. This finding is in perfect agreement with the long-scale inertial dissipation type that we find in all cases.

Revista:
GRANULAR MATTER

ISSN 1434-5021
Vol. 21
N° 3
Año 2019
Págs.47

In this paper we report experimental and numerical results on the velocity fluctuations of grains inside silos. Although simple models exist for the stationary and continuous approximation of the flow, the variability at the microscopic level (both ensemble averages and the fluctuations of individual particles around the average) reveal non-Gaussian statistics that resist a straightforward treatment. We also show that decreasing the orifice size causes an increase in the relative amplitude of the velocity fluctuations, meaning that the intermittency grows bigger.

Revista:
SCIENTIFIC REPORTS

ISSN 2045-2322
Vol. 8
N° 1
Año 2018
Págs.9133

We report extensive numerical simulations of the flow of anisotropic self-propelled particles through a constriction. In particular, we explore the role of the particles' desired orientation with respect to the moving direction on the system flowability. We observe that when particles propel along the direction of their long axis (longitudinal orientation) the flow-rate notably reduces compared with the case of propulsion along the short axis (transversal orientation). And this is so even when the effective section (measured as the number of particles that are necessary to span the whole outlet) is larger for the case of longitudinal propulsion. This counterintuitive result is explained in terms of the formation of clogging structures at the outlet, which are revealed to have higher stability when the particles align along the long axis. This generic result might be applied to many different systems flowing through bottlenecks such as microbial populations or different kind of cells. Indeed, it has already a straightforward connection with recent results of pedestrian (which self-propel transversally oriented) and mice or sheep (which self-propel longitudinally oriented).

Revista:
PHYSICAL REVIEW E

ISSN 2470-0045
Vol. 97
N° 1
Año 2018
Págs.012611

In this work, we numerically study a dense colloidal suspension flowing through a small outlet driven by a pressure drop using lattice-Boltzmann methods. This system shows intermittent flow regimes that precede clogging events. Several pieces of evidence suggest that the temperature controls the dynamic state of the system when the driving force and the aperture size are fixed. When the temperature is low, the suspension's flow can be interrupted during long time periods, which can be even two orders of magnitude larger than the system's characteristic time (Stokes). We also find that strong thermal noise does not allowthe formation of stable aggregate structures avoiding extreme clogging events, but, at the same time, it randomizes the particle trajectories and disturbs the advective particle flow through the aperture. Moreover, examining the particle velocity statistics, we obtain that in the plane normal to the pressure drop the colloids always move as free particles regardless of the temperature value. In the pressure drop direction, at high temperature the colloids experience a simple balance between advective and diffusive transport, but at low temperature the nature of the flow is much more complex, correlating with the occurrence of very long clogging events.

Autores:
Arietaleaniz, S.; Malgaretti, P.; Pagonabarraga, I.; et al.

Revista:
PHYSICAL REVIEW E

ISSN 2470-0045
N° 98
Año 2018
Págs.042603

In this work, we study the constitutive behavior of interacting colloidal suspensions for moderate and high concentrations. Specifically, using a lattice Boltzmann solver, we numerically examine suspensions flowing through narrow channels, and explore the significance of the interaction potential strength on the system's macroscopic response. When only a short-range interaction potential is considered, a Newtonian behavior is always recovered and the system's effective viscosity mostly depends on the suspension concentration. However, when using a Lennard-Jones potential we identify two rheological responses depending on the interaction strength, the volume fraction, and the pressure drop. Exploiting a model proposed in the literature we rationalize the simulation data and propose scaling relations to identify the relevant energy scales involved in these transport processes. Moreover, we find that the spatial distribution of colloids in layers parallel to the flow direction does not correlate with changes in the system macroscopic response; but, interestingly, the rheology changes do correlate with the spatial distribution of colloids within individual layers. Namely, suspensions characterized by a Newtonian response display a cubiclike structure of the colloids within individual layers, whereas for suspensions with non-Newtonian response colloids organize in a hexagonal structure.

Revista:
PHYSICAL REVIEW FLUIDS

ISSN 2469-990X
Vol. 3
N° 7
Año 2018
Págs.074301

We present an extensive numerical and experimental study, investigating a threedimensional (3D) granular flow of elongated particles down an inclined plane. Similarly to sheared systems, the average particle orientation is found to enclose a small angle with the flow direction. In the bulk, this behavior is independent of the shear rate. At the surface, however, the particles move in more dilute conditions, and the average orientation strongly depends on the shear rate. A systematic numerical study varying the particle aspect ratio and the plane inclination reveals that the particle size perpendicular to the flow direction, d(eff), is an appropriate length scale to define an effective inertial number I-eff, which fully captures the impact of the particle shape on the system's rheology. Like in the case of spheres, density and friction result in well-defined functions of the effective inertial number I-eff,Thus, we quantify and explain the dependence of the rheological parameters on the aspect ratio, based on the micromechamcal details.

Revista:
COMPUTATIONAL PARTICLE MECHANICS

ISSN 2196-4378
Vol. 4
N° 4
Año 2017
Págs.419 - 427

Very recently, we have examined experimentally and numerically the micro-mechanical details of monodisperse particle flows through an orifice placed at the bottom of a silo (Rubio-Largo et al. in Phys Rev Lett 114:238002, 2015). Our findings disentangled the paradoxical ideas associated to the free-fall arch concept, which has historically served to justify the dependence of the flow rate on the outlet size. In this work, we generalize those findings examining large-scale polydisperse particle flows in silos. In the range of studied apertures, both velocity and density profiles at the aperture are self-similar, and the obtained scaling functions confirm that the relevant scale of the problem is the size of the aperture. Moreover, we find that the contact stress monotonically decreases when the particles approach the exit and vanish at the outlet. The behavior of this magnitude is practically independent of the size of the orifice. However, the total and partial kinetic stress profiles suggest that the outlet size controls the propagation of the velocity fluctuations inside the silo. Examining this magnitude, we conclusively argue that indeed there is a well-defined transition region where the particle flow changes its nature. The general trend of the partial kinetic pressure profiles and the location of the transition region results the same for all particle types. We find that the partial kinetic stress is larger for bigger particles. However, the small particles carry a higher fraction of kinetic stress respect to their concentration, which suggest that the small particles have larger velocity fluctuations than the large ones and showing lower strength of correlation with the global flow. Our outcomes explain why the free-fall arch picture has served to describe the polydisperse flow rate in the discharge of silos.

Revista:
PHYSICAL REVIEW E

ISSN 2470-0045
Vol. 95
N° 4
Año 2017
Págs.042319

We present a numerical framework to simulate pedestrian dynamics in highly competitive conditions by means of a force-based model implemented with spherocylindrical particles instead of the traditional, symmetric disks. This modification of the individuals' shape allows one to naturally reproduce recent experimental findings of room evacuations through narrow doors in situations where the contact pressure among the pedestrians was rather large. In particular, we obtain a power-law tail distribution of the time lapses between the passage of consecutive individuals. In addition, we show that this improvement leads to new features where the particles' rotation acquires great significance.

Revista:
PHYSICS OF FLUIDS

ISSN 1070-6631
Vol. 28
N° 7
Año 2016
Págs.073301

In this work, we examine theoretically the cooling dynamics of binary mixtures of spheres and rods. To this end, we introduce a generalized mean field analytical theory, which describes the free cooling behavior of the mixture. The relevant characteristic time scale for the cooling process is derived, depending on the mixture composition and the aspect ratio of the rods. We simulate mixtures of spherocylinders and spheres using a molecular dynamics algorithm implemented on graphics processing unit (GPU) architecture. We systematically study mixtures composed of spheres and rods with several aspect ratios and varying the mixture composition. A homogeneous cooling state, where the time dependence of the system's intensive variables occurs only through a global granular temperature, is identified. We find cooling dynamics in excellent agreement with Haff's law, when using an adequate time scale. Using the scaling properties of the homogeneous cooling dynamics, we estimated numerically the efficiency of the energy interchange between rotational and translational degrees of freedom for collisions between spheres and rods.

Revista:
PHYSICA A-STATISTICAL MECHANICS AND ITS APPLICATIONS

ISSN 0378-4371
Vol. 443
Año 2016
Págs.477 - 485

In this work, we report some theoretical results on granular gases consisting of frictionless 3D rods with low energy dissipation. We performed simulations on the temporal evolution of soft spherocylinders, using a molecular dynamics algorithm implemented on GPU architecture. A homogeneous cooling state for rods, where the time dependence of the system's intensive variables occurs only through a global granular temperature, has been identified. We have found a homogeneous cooling process, which is in excellent agreement with Haff's law, when using an adequate rescaling time ¿(¿), the value of which depends on the particle elongation ¿ and the restitution coefficient. It was further found that scaled particle velocity distributions remain approximately Gaussian regardless of the particle shape. Similarly to a system of ellipsoids, energy equipartition between rotational and translational degrees of freedom was better satisfied as one gets closer to the elastic limit. Taking advantage of scaling properties, we have numerically determined the general functionality of the magnitude Dc(¿), which describes the efficiency of the energy interchange between rotational and translational degrees of freedom, as well as its dependence on particle shape. We have detected a range of particle elongations (1.5<¿<4.0), where the average energy transfer between the rotational and translational degrees of freedom results greater for spherocylinders than for homogeneous ellipsoids with the same aspect ratio

Revista:
GRANULAR MATTER

ISSN 1434-5021
Vol. 18
N° 4
Año 2016
Págs.34

In this work we apply the discrete element method (DEM) to model packings of spherocylinders. The so-called composite spheres method was used to construct particles of different aspect ratio, surface shape and curvature. Using the DEM we probe in detail the effect of particle curvature and surface shape on packing morphology and stress transmission. We find that particle shape has a remarkable influence on both the packing morphology (quantified via the solid fraction, particle orientation distribution and radial distribution function) and stress transmission. Specifically, elongated particles have a high preference for horizontal alignment, whereas an increasing particle curvature leads to a more continuous (i.e. less discrete) particle orientation distribution. Generally, we observe that rough and curved particles have a stronger tendency for interlocking (in particular for small particle aspect ratios, i.e. AR=2 and 3) leading to the formation of dense packing structures. In addition packings of rough and curved particles of small aspect ratios favor stress transmission in the gravitational direction, thus, limiting stress saturation with depth.

Revista:
PHYSICAL REVIEW LETTERS

ISSN 0031-9007
Vol. 114
N° 23
Año 2015
Págs.238002

Several theoretical predictions of the mass flow rate of granular media discharged from a silo are based
on the spontaneous development of a free-fall arch region, the existence of which is still controversial. In
this Letter, we study experimentally and numerically the particle flow through an orifice placed at the
bottom of 2D and 3D silos. The implementation of a coarse-grained technique allows a thorough
description of all the kinetic and micromechanical properties of the particle flow in the outlet proximities.
Though the free-fall arch does not exist as traditionally understood¿a region above which particles have
negligible velocity and below which particles fall solely under gravity action¿we discover that the kinetic
pressure displays a well-defined transition in a position that scales with the outlet size. This universal
scaling explains why the free-fall arch picture has served as an approximation to describe the flow rate in
the discharge of silos.

Revista:
COMPUTATIONAL PARTICLE MECHANICS

ISSN 2196-4378
Vol. 2
N° 2
Año 2015
Págs.127 - 138

We present a hybrid GPU¿CPU implementation of an accurate discrete element model for a system of ellipsoids. The ellipsoids have three translational degrees of freedom, their rotational motion being described through quaternions and the contact interaction between two ellipsoids is described by a force which accounts for the elastic and dissipative interactions. Further we combine the exact derivation of contact points between ellipsoids (Wang et al. in Computing 72(1¿2):235¿246, 2004) with the advantages of the GPU-NVIDIA parallelization strategy (Owens et al. in Comput Graph Forum 26:80¿113, 2007). This novelty makes the analytical algorithm computationally feasible when dealing with several thousands of particles. As a benchmark, we simulate a granular gas of frictionless ellipsoids identifying a classical homogeneous cooling state for ellipsoids. For low dissipative systems, the behavior of the granular temperature indicates that the cooling dynamics is governed by the elongation of the ellipsoids and the restitution coefficient. Our outcomes comply with the statistical mechanical laws and the results are in agreement with previous findings for hard ellipsoids (Bereolos et al. in J Chem Phys 99:6087, 1993; Villemot and Talbot in Granul Matter 14:91¿97, 2012). Additionally, new insight is provided namely suggesting that the mean field description of the cooling dynamics of elongated particles is conditioned by the particle shape and the degree of energy equipartition.

Revista:
SCIENTIFIC REPORTS

ISSN 2045-2322
Vol. 4
Año 2014
Págs.7324

When a large set of discrete bodies passes through a bottleneck, the flow may become intermittent due to the development of clogs that obstruct the constriction. Clogging is observed, for instance, in colloidal suspensions, granular materials and crowd swarming, where consequences may be dramatic. Despite its ubiquity, a general framework embracing research in such a wide variety of scenarios is still lacking. We show that in systems of very different nature and scale -including sheep herds, pedestrian crowds, assemblies of grains, and colloids- the probability distribution of time lapses between the passages of consecutive bodies exhibits a power-law tail with an exponent that depends on the system condition. Consequently, we identify the transition to clogging in terms of the divergence of the average time lapse. Such a unified description allows us to put forward a qualitative clogging state diagram whose most conspicuous feature is the presence of a length scale qualitatively related to the presence of a finite size orifice. This approach helps to understand paradoxical phenomena, such as the faster-is-slower effect predicted for pedestrians evacuating a room and might become a starting point for researchers working in a wide variety of situations where clogging represents a hindrance.

Autores:
Altshuler, E. ; Torres, H. ; González-Pita, A. ; et al.

Revista:
GEOPHYSICAL RESEARCH LETTERS

ISSN 0094-8276
Vol. 41
N° 9
Año 2014
Págs.3032 - 3037

While the penetration of objects into granular media is well-studied, there is little understanding of how objects settle in gravities, g(eff), different from that of Earth-a scenario potentially relevant to the geomorphology of planets and asteroids and also to their exploration using man-made devices. By conducting experiments in an accelerating frame, we explore g(eff) ranging from 0.4 g to 1.2 g. Surprisingly, we find that the rest depth is independent of g(eff) and also that the time required for the object to come to rest scales like g(eff)(-1/2). With discrete element modeling simulations, we reproduce the experimental results and extend the range of g(eff) to objects as small as asteroids and as large as Jupiter. Our results shed light on the initial stage of sedimentation into dry granular media across a range of celestial bodies and also have implications for the design of man-made, extraterrestrial vehicles and structures.

Revista:
GRANULAR MATTER

ISSN 1434-5021
Vol. 16
N° 4
Año 2014
Págs.411 - 420

We present experimental and numerical results for particle alignment and stress distribution in packings of faceted particles deposited in a small-scale bi-dimensional silo. First, we experimentally characterize the deposits' morphology in terms of the particles' aspect ratio and feeding rate. Then we use the experimental results to validate our discrete element method (DEM) based on spheropolygons. After achieving excellent agreement, we use contact forces and fabric provided by the simulations to calculate the coarse-grained stress tensor. For low feeding rates, square particles display a strong tendency to align downwards, i.e., with a diagonal parallel to gravity. This morphology leads to stress transmission towards the walls, implying a quick development of pressure saturation, in agreement with the Janssen effect. When the feed rate is increased, both the disorder and the number of horizontal squares in the silo increase, hindering the Janssen effect. Conversely, for elongated particles the feed rate has a weak effect on the final deposit properties. Indeed, we always observe highly ordered structures of horizontal rods where the stress is transmitted mainly in the vertical direction.

Revista:
PHYSICAL REVIEW E

ISSN 1539-3755
Vol. 87
N° 4
Año 2013
Págs.042816

We analyze the failure process of a two-component system with widely different fracture strength in the framework of a fiber bundle model with localized load sharing. A fraction 0 <= alpha <= 1 of the bundle is strong and it is represented by unbreakable fibers, while fibers of the weak component have randomly distributed failure strength. Computer simulations revealed that there exists a critical composition alpha(c) which separates two qualitatively different behaviors: Below the critical point, the failure of the bundle is brittle, characterized by an abrupt damage growth within the breakable part of the system. Above alpha(c), however, the macroscopic response becomes ductile, providing stability during the entire breaking process. The transition occurs at an astonishingly low fraction of strong fibers which can have importance for applications. We show that in the ductile phase, the size distribution of breaking bursts has a power law functional form with an exponent mu = 2 followed by an exponential cutoff. In the brittle phase, the power law also prevails but with a higher exponent mu = 9/2. The transition between the two phases shows analogies to continuous phase transitions. Analyzing the microstructure of the damage, it was found that at the beginning of the fracture process cracks nucleate randomly, while later on growth and coalescence of cracks dominate, which give rise to power law distributed crack sizes.

Revista:
GRANULAR MATTER

ISSN 1434-5021
Vol. 15
N° 6
Año 2013
Págs. 841 - 848

In this work, we examine a quasi-2D silo that clogs due to the spontaneous formation of stable arches. We validate a numerical scheme comparing the morphology of clogging arches with previous experimental findings. Additionally, we inspect the forces that act on particles, both on those in the bulk of the silo as well as those belonging to the arches formed above the outlet. In the silo, we have found that normal forces are higher close to the wall, in contrast to the central part of the silo, where normal forces are notably lower. Besides, it is revealed that normal forces on particles belonging to the clogging arches are significantly larger than in their surroundings. In a particle of the arch, the magnitude of the force strongly depends on the angle subtended from its center to the contact points with its two neighbors in the arch. Indeed, for angles exceeding , the larger the angle, the lower the normal force and the higher the tangential one. On the contrary, for smaller angles the behavior is reversed, so the normal forces increase with the angle. Finally, we present a comparison of the normal and tangential force distributions for the particles within the arch and in the bulk. All this shows the special nature of the forces developed in clogging arches, which suggests that direct extrapolations of bulk properties should not be taken for granted.

Revista:
PHYSICAL REVIEW E

ISSN 1539-3755
Vol. 87
N° 1
Año 2013
Págs.012202

In a previous paper [Hidalgo et al., Phys. Rev. Lett. 103, 118001 (2009)] it was shown that square particles deposited in a silo tend to align with a diagonal parallel to the gravity, giving rise to a deposit with very particular properties. Here we explore, both experimentally and numerically, the effect on these properties of the filling mechanism. In particular, we modify the volume fraction of the initial configuration from which the grains are deposited. Starting from a very dilute case, increasing the volume fraction results in an enhancement of the disorder in the final deposit characterized by a decrease of the final packing fraction and a reduction of the number of particles oriented with their diagonal in the direction of gravity. However, for very high initial volume fractions, the final packing fraction increases again. This result implies that two deposits with the same final packing fraction can be obtained from very different initial conditions. The structural properties of such deposits are analyzed, revealing that, although the final volume fraction is the same, their micromechanical properties notably differ.

Revista:
PHYSICAL REVIEW LETTERS

ISSN 0031-9007
Vol. 109
N° 6
Año 2012

We present experimental and numerical results regarding the stability of arches against external vibrations. Two-dimensional strings of mutually stabilizing grains are geometrically analyzed and subsequently submitted to a periodic forcing at fixed frequency and increasing amplitude. The main factor that determines the granular arch resistance against vibrations is the maximum angle among those formed between any particle of the arch and its two neighbors: the higher the maximum angle is, the easier it is to break the arch. On the basis of an analysis of the forces, a simple explanation is given for this dependence. From this, interesting information can be extracted about the expected magnitudes of normal forces and friction coefficients of the particles composing the arches.

Revista:
GRANULAR MATTER

ISSN 1434-5021
Vol. 14
N° 2 Supl. 1
Año 2012
Págs.191 - 196

We report numerical results of effective attractive forces on the packing properties of two-dimensional elongated grains. In deposits of non-cohesive rods in 2D, the topology of the packing is mainly dominated by the formation of ordered structures of aligned rods. Elongated particles tend to align horizontally and the stress is mainly transmitted from top to bottom, revealing an asymmetric distribution of local stress. However, for deposits of cohesive particles, the preferred horizontal orientation disappears. Very elongated particles with strong attractive forces form extremely loose structures, characterized by an orientation distribution, which tends to a uniform behavior when increasing the Bond number. As a result of these changes, the pressure distribution in the deposits changes qualitatively. The isotropic part of the local stress is notably enhanced with respect to the deviatoric part, which is related to the gravity direction. Consequently, the lateral stress transmission is dominated by the enhanced disorder and leads to a faster pressure saturation with depth.

Revista:
EUROPEAN PHYSICAL JOURNAL E

ISSN 1292-8941
Vol. 34
N° 12
Año 2011
Págs.133

We present experimental and numerical results of the effect that a partial discharge has on the morphological and micro-mechanical properties of non-spherical, convex particles in a silo. The comparison of the particle orientation after filling the silo and its subsequent partial discharge reveals important shear-induced orientation, which affects stress propagation. For elongated particles, the flow induces an increase in the packing disorder which leads to a reduction of the vertical stress propagation developed during the deposit generated prior to the partial discharge. For square particles, the flow favors particle alignment with the lateral walls promoting a behavior opposite to the one of the elongated particles: vertical force transmission, parallel to gravity, is induced. Hence, for elongated particles the flow developed during the partial discharge of the silo leads to force saturation with depth whereas for squares the flow induces hindering of the force saturation observed during the silo filling.

Revista:
JOURNAL OF STATISTICAL MECHANICS-THEORY AND EXPERIMENT

ISSN 1742-5468
Año 2010
Págs.P06020

The cooling dynamics of a 2D granular gas of elongated particles is analyzed. We perform simulations on the temporal evolution of soft particles, using a molecular dynamics algorithm. For weakly dissipative particles, we found a homogeneous cooling process where the overall translational kinetic energy decreases analogously to viscoelastic circular particles. In contrast, for strongly dissipative particles we observed an inhomogeneous cooling process where the diminishing of translational kinetic energy notably slows down. The rotational kinetic energy, however, always decays in agreement with Haff's prediction for the homogeneous cooling state of inelastic particles. We mainly found that the cooling kinetics of the system is controlled by the mechanisms that determine the local energy dissipation (collisions). However, we detected a strong influence of particle shape and inelasticity on the structure of the clusters which develop in the inhomogeneous cooling regimes. Our numerical outcomes suggest that strong dissipation and particle anisotropy induce the formation of ordered cluster structures that retards the relaxation to the final asymptotic regime.

Revista:
JOURNAL OF STATISTICAL MECHANICS-THEORY AND EXPERIMENT

ISSN 1742-5468
Año 2010
Págs.P06025

We report experimental and theoretical results of the effect that particle shape has on the packing properties of granular materials. We have systematically measured the particle angular distribution, the cluster size distribution and the stress profiles of ensembles of faceted elongated particles deposited in a bidimensional box. Stress transmission through this granular system has been numerically simulated using a two-dimensional model of irregular particles. For grains of maximum symmetry (squares), the stress propagation localizes and forms chain-like forces analogous to those observed for granular materials composed of spheres. For thick layers of grains, a pressure saturation is observed for deposit depths beyond a characteristic length. This scenario correlates with packing morphology and can be understood in terms of stochastic models of aggregation and random multiplicative processes. As grains elongate and lose their symmetry, stress propagation is strongly affected. Lateral force transmission becomes less favored than vertical transfer, and hence, an increase in the pressure develops with depth, hindering force saturation.