From discrete particles to continuum fields in mixtures

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We present a novel way to extract continuum fields from discrete particle systems that is applicable to flowing mixtures as well as boundaries and interfaces. The mass and momentum balance equations for mixed flows are expressed in terms of the partial densities, velocities, stresses and interaction terms for each constituent. Expressions for these variables in terms of the microscopic quantities are derived by coarse-graining the balance equations, and thus satisfy them exactly. A simple physical argument is used to apportion the interaction forces to the constituents. Discrete element simulations of granular chute flows are presented to illustrate the strengths of the new boundary/mixture treatment. We apply the mixture formulation to confirm two assumptions on the segregation dynamics in particle simulations of bidispersed chute flows: Firstly, the large constituent supports a fraction of the stress that is higher than their volume fraction. Secondly, the interaction force between the constituents follows a drag law that causes the large particles to segregate to the surface. Furthermore, smaller particles support disproportionally high kinetic stress, which is a prediction of the theory on shear-induced segregation.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationPowders and Grains 2013
Subtitle of host publicationProceedings of the 7th International Conference on Micromechanics of Granular Media
EditorsAibing Yu, Kejun Dong, Runyu Yang, Stefan Luding
Number of pages4
ISBN (Print)978-0-7354-1166-1
Publication statusPublished - 2013
Event7th International Conference on Micromechanics of Granular Media, Powders and Grains 2013 - Sydney, Australia
Duration: 8 Jul 201312 Jul 2013
Conference number: 7

Publication series

NameAIP Conference Proceedings
PublisherAIP Publishing LLC
ISSN (Print)0094-243X
ISSN (Electronic)1551-7616


Conference7th International Conference on Micromechanics of Granular Media, Powders and Grains 2013
Abbreviated titlePowders & Grains
Internet address


  • Segregation
  • Coarse graining
  • Mixtures
  • Granular flow


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