The European Physical Journal E

, Volume 22, Issue 1, pp 25–31

Granular flows in a rotating drum: the scaling law between velocity and thickness of the flow

Regular Articles

DOI: 10.1140/epje/e2007-00002-5

Cite this article as:
Félix, G., Falk, V. & D'Ortona, U. Eur. Phys. J. E (2007) 22: 25. doi:10.1140/epje/e2007-00002-5


The flow of dry granular material in a half-filled rotating drum is studied. The thickness of the flowing zone is measured for several rotation speeds, drum sizes and beads sizes (size ratio between drum and beads ranging from 47 to 7400). Varying the rotation speed, a scaling law linking mean velocity vs. thickness of the flow, v∼hm, is deduced for each couple (beads, drum). The obtained exponent m is not always equal to 1, the value previously reported for a drum in litterature, but varies with the geometry of the system. For small size ratios, exponents higher than 1 are obtained due to a saturation of the flowing zone thickness. The exponent of the power law decreases with the size ratio, leading to exponents lower than 1 for high size ratios. These exponents imply that the velocity gradient of a dry granular flow in a rotating drum is not constant. More fundamentally, these results show that the flow of a granular material in a rotating drum is very sensible to the geometry, and that the deduction of the “rheology” of a granular medium flowing in such a geometry is not obvious.


45.50.-j Dynamics and kinematics of a particle and a system of particles45.70.-n Granular systems

Copyright information

© EDP Sciences/Società Italiana di Fisica/Springer-Verlag 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Laboratoire des Sciences du Génie Chimique, UPR 6811, CNRSNancyFrance
  2. 2.Laboratoire de Modélisation et Simulation Numérique en Mécanique et Génie des ProcédésMarseille Cedex 20France