Spreading of a granular droplet

Iván Sánchez, Franck Raynaud, José Lanuza, Bruno Andreotti, Eric Clément, Igor S. Aranson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


The influence of controlled vibrations on the granular rheology is investigated in a specifically designed experiment in which a granular film spreads under the action of horizontal vibrations. A nonlinear diffusion equation is derived theoretically that describes the evolution of the deposit shape. A self-similar parabolic shape (the"granular droplet") and a spreading dynamics are predicted that both agree quantitatively with the experimental results. The theoretical analysis is used to extract effective friction coefficients between the base and the granular layer under sustained and controlled vibrations. A shear thickening regime characteristic of dense granular flows is evidenced at low vibration energy, both for glass beads and natural sand. Conversely, shear thinning is observed at high agitation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number060301
JournalPhysical Review E - Statistical, Nonlinear, and Soft Matter Physics
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 7 2007

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

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


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