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Experimental and Analytical Investigations of Granular Materials: Shear Flow and Convective Heat Transfer


Ahn, Hojin (1989) Experimental and Analytical Investigations of Granular Materials: Shear Flow and Convective Heat Transfer. Dissertation (Ph.D.), California Institute of Technology. doi:10.7907/XFYT-7909.


Granular materials flowing down an inclined chute were studied experimentally and analytically. Characteristics of convective heat transfer to granular flows were also investigated experimentally and numerically.

Experiments on continuous, steady flows of granular materials in an inclined chute were conducted with the objectives of understanding the characteristics of chute flows and of acquiring information on the rheological behavior of granular material flow. Two neighboring fibre optic displacement probes were employed to measure mean velocity, one component of velocity fluctuations, and linear concentration at the wall and free surface boundaries. A shear gauge was also developed to make direct measurement of shear stress at the chute base. Measurements of solid fraction, velocity, shear rate, and velocity fluctuations were analyzed to understand the chute flow characteristics, and the rheological behavior of granular materials was studied with the present experimental data. The vertical profiles of mean velocity, velocity fluctuation, and solid fraction were also obtained at the sidewalls.

Existing constitutive equations and governing equations were used to solve for fully developed chute flows of granular materials, and thus the boundary value problem was formulated with two parameters (the coefficient of restitution between particles, and the chute inclination) and three boundary values at the chute base wall (the values of solid fraction, granular temperature, and mean velocity at the wall). The boundary value problem was numerically solved by the "shooting method." The boundary conditions at the free surface were satisfied by the proper choice of a gradient of granular temperature at the wall. The results show a significant role played by granular conduction in determining the profiles of granular temperature, solid fraction, and mean velocity in chute flows. These analytical results were also compared with the present experimental measurements and with the computer simulations by other investigators in the literature.

Experiments on heat transfer to granular flows over a flat heating plate were conducted with three sizes of glass beads, polystyrene beads, and mustard seeds. A modification on the existing model for the convective heat transfer was made using the effective Nusselt number and the effective Peclet number, which include the effects of solid fraction variations. The slightly modified model could describe the heat transfer characteristics of both fast and slow flows (supercritical and subcritical flows).

A numerical analysis of the convective heat transfer to granular flows was also performed. The results were compared with the present experimental data, and reasonable agreement was found in the comparison.

Item Type:Thesis (Dissertation (Ph.D.))
Subject Keywords:Mechanical Engineering
Degree Grantor:California Institute of Technology
Division:Engineering and Applied Science
Major Option:Mechanical Engineering
Thesis Availability:Public (worldwide access)
Research Advisor(s):
  • Sabersky, Rolf H. (advisor)
  • Brennen, Christopher E. (co-advisor)
Thesis Committee:
  • Brennen, Christopher E. (chair)
  • Sabersky, Rolf H.
  • Raichlen, Fredric
  • Hunt, Melany L.
  • Goodwin, David G.
Defense Date:3 May 1989
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Record Number:CaltechETD:etd-09152004-135555
Persistent URL:
Default Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:3544
Deposited By: Imported from ETD-db
Deposited On:15 Sep 2004
Last Modified:27 Mar 2020 23:05

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