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Gravity-driven flow of grains in narrow tubes: numerical investigation of granular plugs

Grant number: 19/10989-6
Support type:Scholarships in Brazil - Scientific Initiation
Effective date (Start): July 01, 2019
Effective date (End): August 31, 2020
Field of knowledge:Engineering - Mechanical Engineering - Transport Phenomena
Principal researcher:Erick de Moraes Franklin
Grantee:Gabriel Teodoro Adriano
Home Institution: Faculdade de Engenharia Mecânica (FEM). Universidade Estadual de Campinas (UNICAMP). Campinas , SP, Brazil
Associated research grant:18/14981-7 - Modeling of dense granular flows: experiments, numerical simulations and stability analyses, AP.JP2


Gravity-driven flows of grains in tubes are frequently found in industry. Some examples concern pharmaceutical, mining and food industries. When the ratio between the tube and grain diameters is of the order of 10, and when the grain diameter is of the order of 0.1 mm, density waves may appear. These waves are characterized by regions with a high concentration of solids (granular plugs) and others with a low solid concentration (air bubbles). For this Graduate Project (Iniciação científica), we will perform numerical simulations to investigate the formation of granular plugs. We intend to simulate gravity-driven granular flows inside glass tubes by using CFD-DEM (computational fluid dynamics - discrete element method), which computes the fluid flow in an Eulerian mesh by using the Navier-Stokes equations while the grains are computed in a Lagrangean framework by using the linear and angular momentum equations. From the simulation outputs, we will compute the wavelengths and celebrities of plugs.

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