Bridging the rheology of granular flows in three regimes

S Chialvo and J Sun and S Sundaresan, PHYSICAL REVIEW E, 85, 021305 (2012).

DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevE.85.021305

We investigate the rheology of granular materials via molecular dynamics simulations of homogeneous, simple shear flows of soft, frictional, noncohesive spheres. In agreement with previous results for frictionless particles, we observe three flow regimes existing in different domains of particle volume fraction and shear rate, with all stress data collapsing upon scaling by powers of the distance to the jamming point. Though this jamming point is a function of the interparticle friction coefficient, the relation between pressure and strain rate at this point is found to be independent of friction. We also propose a rheological model that blends the asymptotic relations in each regime to obtain a general description for these flows. Finally, we show that departure from inertial number scalings is a direct result of particle softness, with a dimensionless shear rate characterizing the transition.

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