Journal of Fluid Mechanics

Hydrodynamic equations for rapid flows of smooth inelastic spheres, to Burnett order

a1 Department of Fluid Mechanics and Heat Transfer, Faculty of Engineering, Tel-Aviv University, Ramat-Aviv, Tel-Aviv 69978, Israel


The Chapman–Enskog expansion is generalized in order to derive constitutive relations for flows of inelastically colliding spheres in three dimensions – to Burnett order. To this end, the pertinent (nonlinear) Boltzmann equation is perturbatively solved by performing a (double) expansion in the Knudsen number and the degree of inelasticity. One of the results is that the normal stress differences and the ‘temperature anisotropy’, characterizing granular fluids, are Burnett effects. The constitutive relations derived in this work differ, both qualitatively and quantitatively, from those obtained in previous studies. In particular, the Navier–Stokes (order) terms have a different dependence on the degree of inelasticity and the number density than in previously derived constitutive relations; for instance, the expression for the heat flux contains a term which is proportional to ε[nabla del, Hamilton operator] log n, where ε is a measure of the degree of inelasticity and n denotes the number density. This contribution to the heat flux is of zeroth order in the density; a similar term, i.e. one that is proportional to ε[nabla del, Hamilton operator]n, has been previously obtained by using the Enskog correction but this term is O(n) and it vanishes in the Boltzmann limit. These discrepancies are resolved by an analysis of the Chapman–Enskog and Grad expansions, pertaining to granular flows, which reveals that the quasi-microscopic rate of decay of the temperature, which has not been taken into account heretofore, provides an important scale that affects the constitutive relations. Some (minor) quantitative differences between our results and previous ones exist as well. These are due to the fact that we take into account an isotropic correction to the leading Maxwellian distribution, which has not been considered before, and also because we consider the full dependence of the corrections to the Maxwellian distribution on the (fluctuating) speed.

(Received February 14 1997)
(Revised November 18 1997)