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Granular segregation in circular tumblers: theoretical model and scaling laws

  • Conor P. Schlick (a1), Yi Fan (a2) (a3), Paul B. Umbanhowar (a2), Julio M. Ottino (a2) (a4) (a5) and Richard M. Lueptow (a2) (a5)...


We model bidisperse size segregation of granular material in quasi-two-dimensional circular tumbler flow using the advection–diffusion transport equation with an additional term to account for segregation due to percolation. Segregation depends on three dimensionless parameters: the ratio of segregation to advection, ${\it\Lambda}$ ; the ratio of advection to diffusion, $\mathit{Pe}$ ; and the dimensionless flowing layer depth, ${\it\epsilon}$ . The degree of segregation in steady state depends only on the ratio of segregation effects to diffusion effects, ${\it\Lambda}\,\mathit{Pe}$ , and the degree of segregation increases as ${\it\Lambda}\mathit{Pe}$ increases. The transient time to reach steady-state segregation depends only on advection, which is manifested in ${\it\epsilon}$ and $\mathit{Pe}$ when ${\it\Lambda}\mathit{Pe}$ is constant. This model is also applied to unsteady tumbler flow, where the rotation speed varies with time.


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Schlick et al. supplementary movie
A movie of the theoretical prediction of a rotating tumbler with ε=0.1, Λ=1.5, and Pe=30 over 1.5 rotations.

 Video (3.0 MB)
3.0 MB

Schlick et al. supplementary movie
A movie of the theoretical prediction of a rotating tumbler with ε=0.1, Λ=1.5, and Pe=30 over 1.5 rotations.

 Video (1.6 MB)
1.6 MB


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