Partially fluidized shear granular flows: Continuum theory and molecular dynamics simulations

Dmitri Volfson, Lev S. Tsimring, Igor S. Aranson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


The continuum theory of partially fluidized shear granular flows is tested and calibrated using two-dimensional soft particle molecular dynamics simulations. The theory is based on the relaxational dynamics of the order parameter that describes the transition between static and flowing regimes of granular material. We define the order parameter as a fraction of static contacts among all contacts between particles. We also propose and verify by direct simulations the constitutive relation based on the splitting of the shear stress tensor into a“fluid part” proportional to the strain rate tensor, and a remaining “solid part.” The ratio of these two parts is a function of the order parameter. The rheology of the fluid component agrees well with the kinetic theory of granular fluids even in the dense regime. Based on the hysteretic bifurcation diagram for a thin shear granular layer obtained in simulations, we construct the “free energy” for the order parameter. The theory calibrated using numerical experiments with the thin granular layer is applied to the surface-driven stationary two-dimensional granular flows in a thick granular layer under gravity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Number of pages1
JournalPhysical Review E - Statistical Physics, Plasmas, Fluids, and Related Interdisciplinary Topics
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jan 1 2003

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

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


Dive into the research topics of 'Partially fluidized shear granular flows: Continuum theory and molecular dynamics simulations'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this