Dynamics of breaking arches under a constant vibration
1 Dpto. de Física y Mat. Apl., Fac. Ciencias, Univ. Navarra, 31080 Pamplona, Spain
2 Max-Planck-Institut für Intelligente Systeme, 70569 Stuttgart, Germany
Published online: 30 June 2017
Granular flow through an orifice can be suddenly halted by the formation of arches in the vicinity of the outlet, which are stable under the action of gravity. They may be broken when an external driving (for instance, vibration) is applied. With the aim of shedding light on the dynamics of arch destruction, we built an experiment consisting of a vertical two-dimensional silo filled with monodisperse beads, to which a constant vibration is applied. It was previously found that an important parameter to predict the robustness of the arch is the angle between consecutive beads. We focus on long-enduring arches and study the angles among the beads along time. We have found that in many cases the dynamics of the largest angle determines the breaking of the arch; it does not only determine where the “weakest link” is, but also the process that leads to the final destabilization. This is interesting because it can provide information about whether the flow will resume in a well-defined time or not, which is especially useful for industrial processes that have to constantly deal with the possible emergence of clogs.
© The Authors, published by EDP Sciences, 2017
This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License 4.0, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.