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A frictional Cosserat model for the slow shearing of granular materials

Mohan, Srinivasa L and Rao, Kesava K and Nott, Prabhu R (2002) A frictional Cosserat model for the slow shearing of granular materials. In: Journal of Fluid Mechanics, 457 . pp. 377-409.

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Abstract

A rigid-plastic Cosserat model for slow frictional flow of granular materials, proposed by us in an earlier paper, has been used to analyse plane and cylindrical Couette flow. In this model, the hydrodynamic fields of a classical continuum are supplemented by the couple stress and the intrinsic angular velocity fields. The balance of angular momentum, which is satisfied implicitly in a classical continuum, must be enforced in a Cosserat continuum. As a result, the stress tensor could be asymmetric, and the angular velocity of a material point may differ from half the local vorticity. An important consequence of treating the granular medium as a Cosserat continuum is that it incorporates a material length scale in the model, which is absent in frictional models based on a classical continuum. Further, the Cosserat model allows determination of the velocity fields uniquely in viscometric flows, in contrast to classical frictional models. Experiments on viscometric flows of dense, slowly deforming granular materials indicate that shear is confined to a narrow region, usually a few grain diameters thick, while the remaining material is largely undeformed. This feature is captured by the present model, and the velocity profile predicted for cylindrical Couette flow is in good agreement with reported data. When the walls of the Couette cell are smoother than the granular material, the model predicts that the shear layer thickness is independent of the Couette gap H when the latter is large compared to the grain diameter $d_p$. When the walls are of the same roughness as the granular material, the model predicts that the shear layer thickness varies as $(H/d_p)^{\frac{1}{3}}$ (in the limit $H/d_p {\gg}1$) for plane shear under gravity and cylindrical Couette flow.

Item Type: Journal Article
Additional Information: Copyright of this article belongs to Cambridge University Press.
Department/Centre: Division of Mechanical Sciences > Chemical Engineering
Date Deposited: 09 Jun 2006
Last Modified: 19 Sep 2010 04:29
URI: http://eprints.iisc.ernet.in/id/eprint/7570

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