An Analytical and Numerical Study of Granular Flows in Hoppers

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Title: An Analytical and Numerical Study of Granular Flows in Hoppers
Author: Matthews, John V. III
Advisors: Pierre A. Gremaud, Chair
C. T. Kelley, Member
M. Shearer, Member
D. G. Schaeffer, Member
Abstract: This work investigates the characteristics of a steady state flow of granular material,under the influence of gravity, in two and three dimensional hoppers of simple geometry.Simulations of such flows are of particular interest to various industries, such as the foodand mining industries, where the handling of large quantities of granular materials in hop-persand silos is routine. While understanding and simulation of time-dependent phenomenaare the ultimate goals in this field, those phenomena are still poorly understood and thustheir study is beyond the scope of this research. It has been observed that steady flowscan provide reasonable approximations, and the corresponding steady state model has con-sequentlybeen the focus of a great deal of research. Historically, these steady state modelshave been approached using only smooth radial fields, and even today most practical hop-perdesign uses these fields as their basis. Our work represents the first time that qualitynumerical methods have been brought to bear on the model equations in their original form,without assuming smoothness of the resulting fields. Two different, yet related, models forstress/velocity consisting of systems of hyperbolic conservation laws and algebraic relationsare considered and discussed. The radial stress and velocity fields, and the stability of thosefields, are studied briefly with both analytical and numerical results presented. More im-portantly,a Runge-Kutta Discontinuous Galerkin method is implemented and applied tovarious boundary value problems involving perturbed stress and velocity fields arising fromdiscontinuous changes in parameters such as hopper wall angle or hopper wall friction.
Date: 2000-11-09
Degree: PhD
Discipline: Applied Mathematics

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