Continuum Mechanics and Thermodynamics

, Volume 17, Issue 8, pp 577–607 | Cite as

A thermo-mechanical continuum theory with internal length for cohesionless granular materials

Part II. Non-equilibrium postulates and numerical simulations of simple shear, plane Poiseuille and gravity driven problems
  • Chung FangEmail author
  • Yongqi Wang
  • Kolumban Hutter
Original Article


This article continues Part I. Here the non-equilibrium responses of the constitutive variables t (Cauchy stress tensor), q (heat flux vector), h (equilibrated stress vector), Γ (flux term associated with the internal length ℓ), Π (production term associated with ℓ) and f (equilibrated intrinsic body force) as well as the Helmholtz free energy Ψ are postulated by use of a quasi-linear theory for three of four models deduced in Part I. In so doing, together with the equilibrium responses gained in Part I, a complete set of constitutive equations for the constitutive quantities for each model is obtained. The implemented models are applied to investigate typical isothermal steady granular shearing flows with incompressible grains, namely, simple plane shear flow, inclined gravity-driven flow and vertical channel-flow. The emphasis is on the models in which ℓ is considered a material constant (Model I) and an independent dynamic field quantity (Model III). Numerical results show that Model III is more appropriate than Model I since in the former model the effect of the motion of an individual grain can better be taken into account. Such a result is in particular significant for avalanches, since it verifies the existence of a thin layer immediately above the base of an avalanche, in which the grains are colliding strongly with one another, and provides a quantitative means to measure such a thin layer.


Internal length Granular materials Simple shear flows 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institut für MechanikTechnische Universität DarmstadtDarmstadtGermany

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