Lift on side-by-side intruders within a granular flow

R. A. López De La Cruz, G. A. Caballero-Robledo*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)


For the first time, we used computer simulations to study lift forces on two static disks placed side-by-side within a two-dimensional granular flow and found them to be either repulsive or attractive depending on the flow velocity and separation between the disks. Our simulations results reveal that differences in the flow velocity between the disks and outside of that region are closely correlated with the lift force. We propose an empirical function for the lift force based on this correlation and our dimensional analysis. The specific region where the measured velocity exhibits this correlation suggests that attractive lift is not a Bernoulli-like effect. Instead, we speculate that it might be explained by a force balance based on Coulomb's theory of passive failure in a Mohr-Coulomb material. Our results confirm that repulsive lift is due to the jamming of particles flowing between the disks.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)248-263
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of fluid mechanics
Publication statusPublished - 10 Aug 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • complex fluids
  • granular media
  • granular mixing


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