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Granular surface flow on an asymmetric conical heap

  • Sandip Mandal (a1) and D. V. Khakhar (a1)


We carry out an experimental study of the granular surface flow of nearly monodisperse glass beads on a conical heap formed on a rough circular disc by a narrow stream of the particles from a hopper, with the pouring point displaced from the centre of the disc. During the growth phase, an axisymmetric heap is formed, which grows either by periodic avalanches or by non-periodic avalanches that occur randomly over the azimuthal location of the heap, depending on the operating conditions and system properties. The dynamics of heap growth is characterized by the variation of the heap height, angle of repose and the angular velocity of the periodic avalanche with time, for different mass flow rates from the hopper. When the base of the heap reaches the edge of the disc closest to the pouring point, the heap stops growing and a steady surface flow of particles is developed on the heap surface, with particles flowing over the edge of the disc into a collection tray. The geometry is a unique example of a granular flow on an erodible bed without any bounding side walls. The corresponding steady state geometry of the asymmetric heap is characterized by means of surface contours and angles of repose. The streamwise and transverse surface velocities are measured using high-speed video photography and image analysis for different mass flow rates. The flowing layer thickness is measured by immersing a coated needle in the flow at different positions on the mid-line of the flow. The surface angle of the flowing layer is found to be significantly smaller than the angle of repose and to be independent of the mass flow rate. The velocity profiles at different streamwise positions for different mass flow rates are found to be geometrically similar and are well described by Gaussian functions. The flowing layer thickness is calculated from a model using the measured surface velocities. The predicted values match the measured values quite well.


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