Avalanches in fine, cohesive powders
|Author/s||Valverde Millán, José Manuel
Castellanos Mata, Antonio
Ramos Reyes, Antonio
Watson, P. Keith
|Department||Universidad de Sevilla. Departamento de Electrónica y Electromagnetismo|
|Abstract||We have investigated the onset of avalanches in fine, cohesive granular materials. In our experiments shear stress is generated by tilting an initialized bed of powder and increasing the angle of tilt until the powder ...
We have investigated the onset of avalanches in fine, cohesive granular materials. In our experiments shear stress is generated by tilting an initialized bed of powder and increasing the angle of tilt until the powder avalanches. We find that the angle a of the avalanche decreases with increasing bed width. The avalanche depth increases with the bed width and, in all cases, is of the order of several millimeters, which is much greater than the particle size. We carry out a macroscopic analysis of the avalanche process based on Coulomb’s method of wedges. This analysis shows the fundamental role played by powder cohesion and boundary conditions on avalanches in fine cohesive powders. This behavior contrasts with the behavior of noncohesive grains, such as dry sand, where avalanches consist of superficial layers of about ten grains. The reason behind this is that for our experimental powders (particle diameter ~10 mm) the van der Waals interparticle adhesive force exceeds several orders of magnitude particle weight. Adhesive forces oppose gravity, and as a result fine cohesive powders settle in very open structures as compared to noncohesive granular materials. Because of the dominance of adhesive forces over particle weight, our materials behave more like wet sand.