Continuum theory of axial segregation in a long rotating drum

I. S. Aranson, L. S. Tsimring, V. M. Vinokur

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

48 Scopus citations


We develop a continuum description for the axial segregation of granular materials in a long rotating drum based on the dynamics of the thin near-surface granular flow coupled to bulk flow. The equations of motion are reduced to the one-dimensional system for two local variables only, the concentration difference and the dynamic angle of repose, or the average slope of the free surface. The parameters of the system are established from comparison with experimental data. The resulting system describes both initial transient traveling wave dynamics and the formation of quasi-stationary bands of segregated materials. A long-term evolution proceeds through slow logarithmic coarsening of the band structure which is analogous to the spinoidal decomposition described by the Cahn-Hilliard equation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1975-1987
Number of pages13
JournalPhysical Review E - Statistical Physics, Plasmas, Fluids, and Related Interdisciplinary Topics
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1999

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Statistical and Nonlinear Physics
  • Statistics and Probability
  • Condensed Matter Physics


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