Characterization of the clogging transition in vibrated granular media
The existence of a transition from a clogged to an unclogged state has been recently proposed for the flow of macroscopic particles through bottlenecks in systems as diverse as colloidal suspensions, granular matter, or live beings. Here, we experimentally demonstrate that, for vibrated granular media, such a transition genuinely exists, and we characterize it as a function of the outlet size and vibration intensity. We confirm the suitability of the "flowing parameter" as the order parameter, and we find out that the resealed maximum acceleration of the system should be replaced as the control parameter by a dimensionless velocity that can be seen as the square root of the ratio between kinetic and potential energy. In all the investigated scenarios, we observe that, for a critical value of this control parameter S-c, there seems to be a continuous transition to an unclogged state. The data can be resealed with this critical value, which, as expected, decreases with the orifice size D. This leads to a phase diagram in the S-D plane in which clogging appears as a concave surface.