Understanding and exploiting competing segregation mechanisms in horizontally rotated granular media

C.R.K. Windows-Yule, B.J. Scheper, A.J. van der Horn, N. Hainsworth, J. Saunders, D.J. Parker, A.R. Thornton

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    61 Citations (Scopus)
    149 Downloads (Pure)


    The axial segregation of granular and particulate media is a well-known but little-understood phenomenon with direct relevance to various natural and industrial processes. Over the past decades, many attempts have been made to understand this phenomenon, resulting in a significant number of proposed mechanisms, none of which can provide a full and universally applicable explanation. In this paper, we show that several mechanisms can be simultaneously active within a single system, and that by considering all relevant mechanisms, it is possible to understand and explain a system's segregative behaviours over a wider range of parameter space than is possible by considering any one, single process. We explore the interrelation and competition between the individual mechanisms present within a given system and demonstrate that by understanding these interactions, we can predict and even, through carefully designed systems, control their behaviour. In particular, we demonstrate that it is possible to deliberately direct segregation, allowing an arbitrary number of pre-determined segregation patterns to be induced in a system. We also illustrate a manner in which the competition between two opposing segregation mechanisms may be exploited in order to enhance the mixing of two dissimilar species of particle - a much sought after ability.

    Original languageEnglish
    Article number023013
    JournalNew journal of physics
    Issue number2
    Publication statusPublished - 29 Jan 2016


    • Granular flow
    • Mixing
    • Particulate flows
    • Rotating drum
    • Segregation


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