Nonlocal rheological properties of granular flows near a jamming limit

Igor S. Aranson, Lev S. Tsimring, Florent Malloggi, Eric Clément

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

42 Scopus citations


We study the rheology of sheared granular flows close to a jamming transition. We use the approach of partially fluidized theory (PFT) with a full set of equations extending the thin layer approximation derived previously for the description of the granular avalanches phenomenology. This theory provides a picture compatible with a local rheology at large shear rates and it works in the vicinity of the jamming transition, where a description in terms of a simple local rheology comes short. We investigate two situations displaying important deviations from local rheology. The first one is based on a set of numerical simulations of sheared soft two-dimensional circular grains. The next case describes previous experimental results obtained on avalanches of sandy material flowing down an incline. Both cases display, close to jamming, significant deviations from the now standard Pouliquen's flow rule. This discrepancy is the hallmark of a strongly nonlocal rheology and in both cases, we relate the empirical results and the outcomes of PFT. The numerical simulations show a characteristic constitutive structure for the fluid part of the stress involving the confining pressure and the material stiffness that appear in the form of an additional dimensionless parameter. This constitutive relation is then used to describe the case of sandy flows. We show a quantitative agreement as far as the effective flow rules are concerned. A fundamental feature is identified in PFT as the existence of a jammed layer developing in the vicinity of the flow arrest that corroborates the experimental findings. Finally, we study the case of solitary erosive granular avalanches and relate the outcome with the PFT analysis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number031303
JournalPhysical Review E - Statistical, Nonlinear, and Soft Matter Physics
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 8 2008

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

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


Dive into the research topics of 'Nonlocal rheological properties of granular flows near a jamming limit'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this