Axisymmetric Granular Collapse: A Transient 3D Flow Test of Viscoplasticity


L. Lacaze, R. R. Kerswell


The American Physical Society


Physical Review Letters



A viscoplastic continuum theory has recently been proposed to model dense, cohesionless granular flows [ P. Jop et al. Nature (London) 441 727 (2006)]. We confront this theory for the first time with a transient, three-dimensional flow situation—the simple collapse of a cylinder of granular matter onto a horizontal plane—by extracting stress and strain rate tensors directly from soft particle simulations. These simulations faithfully reproduce the different flow regimes and capture the observed scaling laws for the final deposit. Remarkably, the theoretical hypothesis that there is a simple stress-strain rate tensorial relationship does seem to hold across the whole flow even close to the rough boundary provided the flow is dense enough. These encouraging results suggest viscoplastic theory is more generally applicable to transient, multidirectional, dense flows and open the way for quantitative predictions in real applications.


granular collapse, Granular flow, stress and strain rate, Viscoplasticity

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