We investigate experimentally and via computer simulations the fall of a two dimensional granular material in a rectangular container with friction only at lateral walls. We study the decompaction modes of the granular assembly, which is a basic question relevant to the general dynamics of a noncohesive powder. We observe during the fall the possible occurrence of successive cracks splitting the initial pile into smaller blocks as time passes. These cracks preferentially occur in the lower part of the array, resulting in an ascending decompaction wave in the bulk. We show experimentally how this effect is related to the surface roughness of the boundaries. A heuristic continuum theory is proposed that rationalizes the experimental results. Furthermore, event driven simulations, including particle rotations and friction, parallel nicely the experimental observations. In the simulations, we find strong pressure fluctuations at the boundaries correlated to the occurrence of arches.
|Number of pages||8|
|Journal||Physical Review E - Statistical Physics, Plasmas, Fluids, and Related Interdisciplinary Topics|
|Publication status||Published - 1 Jan 1996|