Enhancing the linear flow of fine granules through the addition of elongated particles.

Scientific reports

PubMedID: 26551736

Guo Z, Chen X, Xu Y, Liu H. Enhancing the linear flow of fine granules through the addition of elongated particles. Sci Rep. 2015;516071.
Sandglasses have been used to record time for thousands of years because of their constant flow rates; however, they now are drawing attention for their substantial scientific importance and extensive industrial applications. The presence of elongated particles in a binary granular system is believed to result in undesired flow because their shape implies a larger resistance to flow. However, our experiments demonstrate that the addition of elongated particles can substantially reduce the flow fluctuation of fine granules and produce a stable linear flow similar to that in an hourglass. On the basis of experimental data and previous reports of flow dynamics, we observed that the linear flow is driven by the "needle particle effect," including flow orientation, reduced agglomeration, and local perturbation. This phenomenon is observed in several binary granular systems, including fine granules and secondary elongated particles, which demonstrates that our simple method can be widely applied to the accurate measurement of granular flows in industry.