Granular compaction by fluidization
Laboratoire FAST, Univ Paris-Sud, CNRS, Université Paris-Saclay, Orsay, France
Published online: 30 June 2017
How to arrange a packing of spheres is a scientific question that aroused many fundamental works since a long time from Kepler’s conjecture to Edward’s theory (S. F. Edwards and R.B.S Oakeshott. Theory of powders. Physica A, 157: 1080-1090, 1989), where the role traditionally played by the energy in statistical problems is replaced by the volume for athermal grains. We present experimental results on the compaction of a granular pile immersed in a viscous fluid when submited to a continuous or bursting upward flow. An initial fluidized bed leads to a well reproduced initial loose packing by the settling of grains when the high enough continuous upward flow is turned off. When the upward flow is then turned on again, we record the dynamical evolution of the bed packing. For a low enough continuous upward flow, below the critical velocity of fluidization, a slow compaction dynamics is observed. Strikingly, a slow compaction can be also observed in the case of “fluidization taps” with bursts of fluid velocity higher than the critical fluidization velocity. The different compaction dynamics is discussed when varying the different control parameters of these “fluidization taps”.
© The Authors, published by EDP Sciences, 2017
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