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The motion of an intruder within granular matter

Grant number: 20/04151-7
Support Opportunities:Scholarships in Brazil - Doctorate
Effective date (Start): October 01, 2020
Effective date (End): September 27, 2025
Field of knowledge:Engineering - Mechanical Engineering - Transport Phenomena
Principal Investigator:Erick de Moraes Franklin
Grantee:Douglas Daniel de Carvalho
Host 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
Associated scholarship(s):22/12511-9 - Motion and impact of solid bodies in granular media, BE.EP.DR


The motion of a solid intruder in granular media is commonly found in nature and human activities. Some examples are the motion of animals and machines over and within granular matter, penetration and impact of solid objects in sand, and geospace applications such as the landing of space probes on other planets. The physics behind the dynamics of these motions remains poorly understood and questions regarding the evolution of the contact and force networks, the occurrence of jamming and blockages, and the displacement rate of grains need to be further investigated. This project consists of both numerical and experimental investigations, and analytical methods shall also be employed in the search for a model to the problem. The experimental part will consist of an intruder fixed to the upper part of a Couette cell filled with photoelastic grains, and it will be set into motion so that the intruder and the grains will have relative displacements. The motion of grains will be tracked, and the displacements and contact patterns will be identified. In addition, with the use of appropriate light and polarizers we will measure the evolution of the network of contact forces. The numerical part will consist of CFD-DEM simulations of the same problem. With the proposed numerical and experimental techniques, we will be able to better understand the formation of forces and stress networks, analyze the displacement rate of the grains, and access jamming or stagnant zones. We intend to propose a new model to predict the trajectories of grains and the resultant force on the intruder, advancing the comprehension of the physics of granular media. This project is part of a larger project, FAPESP Jovem Pesquisador phase two, Grant n. 2018/14981-7, and it is probable that part of the work will be done in collaboration with Douglas Jerolmack of the University of Pennsylvania, with whom the advisor is currently writing a paper on jamming problems. (AU)

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Scientific publications
(References retrieved automatically from Web of Science and SciELO through information on FAPESP grants and their corresponding numbers as mentioned in the publications by the authors)
CARVALHO, DOUGLAS D.; LIMA, NICOLAO C.; FRANKLIN, ERICK M.. Contacts, motion, and chain breaking in a two-dimensional granular system displaced by an intruder. PHYSICAL REVIEW E, v. 105, n. 3, p. 13-pg., . (19/20888-2, 20/04151-7, 18/14981-7)
CARVALHO, DOUGLAS D. D.; FRANKLIN, ERICK M. M.. Collaborative behavior of intruders moving amid grains. Physics of Fluids, v. 34, n. 12, p. 13-pg., . (20/04151-7, 18/14981-7)
CARVALHO, DOUGLAS D.; LIMA, NICOLAO C.; FRANKLIN, ERICK M.. Roles of packing fraction, microscopic friction, and projectile spin in cratering by impact. PHYSICAL REVIEW E, v. 107, n. 4, p. 13-pg., . (18/14981-7, 20/04151-7)

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