Journal of Fluid Mechanics


Crucial role of sidewalls in granular surface flows: consequences for the rheology

a1 IUSTI, Université de Provence, CNRS UMR 6595, 5 rue Enrico Fermi, 13453 Marseille cedex 13, France

Article author query
jop p   [Google Scholar] 
forterre y   [Google Scholar] 
pouliquen o   [Google Scholar] 


In this paper we study the steady uniform flows that develop when granular material is released from a hopper on top of a static pile in a channel. More specifically, we focus on the role of sidewalls by carrying out experiments in set-up of different widths, from narrow channels 20 particle diameters wide to channels 600 particle diameters wide. Results show that steady flows on pile are entirely controlled by sidewall effects. A theoretical model, taking into account the wall friction and based on a simple local constitutive law recently proposed for other granular flow configurations, gives predictions in quantitative agreement with the measurements. This result gives new insights into our understanding of free-surface granular flows and strongly supports the relevance of the constitutive law proposed.

(Published Online October 11 2005)
(Received November 4 2004)
(Revised March 15 2005)