Granular Matter

, Volume 14, Issue 3, pp 381–392 | Cite as

A three-dimensional discrete-grain model for the simulation of dam-break rectangular collapses: comparison between numerical results and experiments

Original Paper

Abstract

In this paper, we used a 3-D discrete-element model, Grains3D, which allows the simulation of unsteady granular flows of monodisperse soft spherical particles in a common situation (i.e., down a rectangular channel). A series of numerical dam-break experiments was performed to predict the behavior of granular columns that propagate down a rough horizontal surface from different initial conditions (varying the initial aspect ratio). Numerical results were compared to those obtained experimentally by Lajeunesse et al. (Phys Fluids 17:103302, 2005) from a similar configuration. Runout distance, temporal flow evolution, deposit morphology and internal flow structures of similar laboratory experiments were quantitatively reproduced as well as prediction of empirical and theoretical scaling laws. This paper highlights that such fully 3-D simulations of soft-spheres can remarkably capture dam-break collapses performed in a rectangular channel. Moreover, Grains3D can provide a complete physical description of such complex unsteady systems which will be the topic of future on-going studies.

Keywords

Discrete-element modeling Dam-break flows Quantitative reproduction 

List of symbols

δij

Overlap distance between a particle i and j during the collision

Δt

Computational time step

\({{\epsilon_n}}\)

Coefficient of restitution

γn

Damping coefficient in the normal direction

γt

Dissipative friction coefficient in the tangential direction

μc

Interparticle Coulomb friction coefficient

μw

Particle-wall Coulomb friction coefficient

ωij

Relative angular velocity between a particle i and j

ρi

Density of a particle i

σ

Poisson coefficient

τc

Characteristic free fall time of the granular column

θc

Internal friction angle

a

Initial aspect ratio of the column in the reservoir

dp

Particle diameter

E

Young modulus

Fi

Sum of the forces applied to a particle i

Fij

Colliding force between a particle i and j

Fij,dn

Normal component of the dissipative force

Fij,el

Hookean elastic restoring force

Fij,t

Shear component of the dissipative force

h

Flow thickness at the time t

hf

Deposit thickness taken at x = Li

H

Reservoir height

Hi

Initial height of the column

kms

Coefficient of rolling resistance

kn

Stiffness coefficient

lf

Length of the final deposit taken at x = 0

Li

Initial length of the column

Mi

Mass of a particle i

\({\mathcal{M}_{rf}}\)

Artificial rolling friction

mij

Reduced mass of two particles i and j in contact

N

Total number of particles constituting the system

nC

Unit normal vector at the contact point

R

Particle radius

Rij

Reduced particle radius

tC

Unit tangential vector at the contact point

t

Time from gate opening

Urn

Relative velocity between a particle i and j in the normal direction

Urt

Relative velocity between a particle i and j in the tangential direction

w

Channel width

x

Flow length at the time t

xf

Flow length measured from x = Li

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Fluid Mechanics DepartmentIFP Energies NouvellesRueil-MalmaisonFrance
  2. 2.Fluid Mechanics DepartmentIFP Energies NouvellesSolaizeFrance

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