For dry granular materials falling through a circular exit at the bottom of a silo, no continuous flow can be sustained when the diameter D of the exit is less than five times the characteristic size of the grains. If the bottom of the silo rotates horizontally with respect to the wall of the silo, finite flow rate can be sustained even at small D. We investigate the effect of bottom rotation to the flow rate of monodisperse plastic beads of d=6mm diameter from a cylindrical silo of 19 cm inner diameter. We find that the flow rate W follows Beverloo law down to D=1.3d and that W increases with the rotation speed ω in the small exit regime. If the exit is at an off-center distance R from the axis of the silo, W increases with the rate of area swept by the exit. On the other hand, when the exit diameter is large, W decreases with increasing ω at small ω but increases with ω at large ω. Such nonmonotonic dependence of flow rate on rotation speed may be explained as a gradual change from funnel flow to mass flow due to the shear at the bottom of the silo.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Statistical and Nonlinear Physics
- Statistics and Probability
- Condensed Matter Physics