The influence of the fractal particle size distribution on the mobility of dry granular materials
1 Department of Civil Engineering, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, USA
2 Departamento de Ingenieria Civil, Universidad de los Andes, Bogota, Colombia
* Corresponding author: firstname.lastname@example.org
Published online: 30 June 2017
This study presents an experimental analysis on the influence of the particle size distribution (psd) on the mobility of dry granular materials. The psd obeys a power law of the form: N(L>d)=kd-Df, where N is the number of particles with diameter L greater than a given diameter d, k is a proportionality constant, and Df is the fractal dimension of the psd. No laboratory or numerical study has been conducted to date analysing how a fractal psd influences the mobility of granular flows as in the case of rock avalanches. In this study, the flow characteristics of poly-dispersed granular materials that have a fractal psd were investigated in the laboratory. Granular mixtures having different fractal psd values were placed in a hollow cylinder. The cylinder was lifted and the distance of flow of the mixture was measured with respect to the original position of the cylinder. It was determined that the distance of flow of the mixtures was directly related to their fractal psd values. That is, the larger the distance of flow of the mixture, the larger is the fractal psd of the granular mixture tested. Thus, the fractal psd in dry granular mixtures seems to have a large influence on the easiness by which dry granular mixtures move in the field.
© The Authors, published by EDP Sciences, 2017
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