Cylindrical sand pile formation in spinning vertical container partially filled with water


Within the scope of this study we report the formation of a cylindrical sand pile in a container rotating around a vertical axis. A steady stream of dry sand is poured off-rotation-axis in a cylindrical acrylic glass container, which is partially filled with water. Due to the centrifugal force at a certain angular velocity, water forms a truncated parabolic, which leaves the center part of the container base empty, and as the sand particles accumulate on the dry base, a cylindrical pile is formed with a parabolic pit at the top. The vertically growing cylindrical sand pile is more stable with small grains than with big sand particles. The mechanical stabilization of the cylindrical sand pile is achieved by the equilibration of the capillary forces and the resulting negative Laplace pressure of the soaked up water inside the pile. The essential features of the phenomenon are discussed and its robustness is demonstrated with experiments by varying the experimental boundary conditions and sand type.

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This work was supported by the BU Reasearch Fund under the project number 08B301. We would like to thank to Osman Börekci, Muhittin Mungan, Mehmet Erbudak, Özer Çinicioğlu and Cem Yolcu for their contributions and comments.

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Correspondence to Selin Manukyan.

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Manukyan, S., Sauer, H.M., Pekkendir, S. et al. Cylindrical sand pile formation in spinning vertical container partially filled with water. Granular Matter 18, 44 (2016).

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  • Granular agglomeration
  • Conglomeration
  • Vertical rotational movement