Rheology of cohesive granular materials across multiple dense-flow regimes

YL Gu and S Chialvo and S Sundaresan, PHYSICAL REVIEW E, 90, 032206 (2014).

DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevE.90.032206

We investigate the dense-flow rheology of cohesive granular materials through discrete element simulations of homogeneous, simple shear flows of frictional, cohesive, spherical particles. Dense shear flows of noncohesive granular materials exhibit three regimes: quasistatic, inertial, and intermediate, which persist for cohesive materials as well. It is found that cohesion results in bifurcation of the inertial regime into two regimes: (a) a new rate-independent regime and (b) an inertial regime. Transition from rate-independent cohesive regime to inertial regime occurs when the kinetic energy supplied by shearing is sufficient to overcome the cohesive energy. Simulations reveal that inhomogeneous shear band forms in the vicinity of this transition, which is more pronounced at lower particle volume fractions. We propose a rheological model for cohesive systems that captures the simulation results across all four regimes.

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