Simulations of cylindrical clouds of concentrated, neutrally buoyant, suspended particles are used to investigate the dispersion of the particles in an oscillating Couette flow. In experiments by Metzger & Butler (Phys. Fluids, vol. 24 (2), 2012, 021703) with spherical clouds of non-Brownian particles, the clouds are shown to elongate at volume fraction
but form ‘galaxies’ where the cloud rotates as a single body with extended arms when
and the ratio of the cloud radius to particle radius,
, is sufficiently large. The simulations, which use the force coupling method, are completed for
. The cloud shape for
is shown to be reversible at low strain amplitude, and extend in the streamwise direction along the centre of the cloud at moderate strain amplitude. For higher strain amplitude the clouds extend near the channel walls to form a parallelogram. The results demonstrate that the particle contact force determines the transition between these states and plays a large role in the irreversibility of the parallelograms. Rotating galaxies form at
, and are characterized by a particle-induced flow in the wall-normal direction.