Microrheology to probe non-local effects in dense granular flows

Mehdi Bouzid 1 Martin Trulsson 2 Philippe Claudin 1 Eric Clément 1 Bruno Andreotti 1

EPL (Europhysics Letters), 2015, 109, pp.24002

A granular material is observed to flow under the Coulomb yield criterion as soon as this criterion is satisfied in a remote but contiguous region of space. We investigate this non-local effect using discrete element simulations, in a geometry similar, in spirit, to the experiment of Reddy et al. [PRL 106, 108301 (2011)]: a micro-rheometer is introduced to determine the influence of a distant shear band on the local rheological behaviour. The numerical simulations recover the dominant features of this experiment: the local shear rate is proportional to that in the shear band and decreases (roughly) exponentially with the distance to the yield conditions. The numerical results are in quantitative agreement with the predictions of the non-local rheology proposed by the present authors [PRL 111, 238301 (2013)] and derived from a gradient expansion of the rheology \mu[I]. The consequences of these findings for the dynamical mechanisms controlling non-locality are finally discussed.

  • 1. PMMH - Physique et mécanique des milieux hétérogenes
  • 2. LPTMS - Laboratoire de Physique Théorique et Modèles Statistiques