Levich Institute Seminar Announcement, 02/04/2014
Tuesday, 02/04/2014
2:00 PM
Steinman Hall, Room #312
(Chemical Engineering Conference Room)

Professor Ken Kamrin
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Mechanical Engineering Department

"Continuum Modeling of Granular Flow "


Despite the ubiquity of granular matter in the world around us, the challenge of predicting the motion of a collection of flowing grains has proven to be a difficult one, from both computational and theoretical perspectives. Grain-by-grain discrete element methods can be used, but these approaches become computationally unrealistic for large bodies of material and long times. A broadly accurate continuum model would be ideal if it could be found, as it would provide a much more rapid means of calculating flows in real-world problems, such as those encountered in industrial design and geotechnical engineering.

With this challenge in mind, in this talk we propose a new constitutive relation for granular matter, which we show produces quantitatively accurate predictions for granular flow. The model is constructed in a step-by-step fashion. First we compose a local relation based on existing granular rheological approaches (i.e. the principle of "inertial" rheology) and point out where the model succeeds and where it does not. The clearest missing ingredient is shown to be the lack of an intrinsic length-scale. To tie flow features more carefully to the characteristic grain size, we justify a nonlocal modification which takes the form of a size-dependent term in the rheology (with one new material parameter). The nonlocal model is then numerically implemented with a custom-written User-Element in the Abaqus package, where it is shown to greatly improve flow predictions compared to the local model. In fact, it is the first model to accurately predict all features of flows in `split-bottom cell' geometries, a decade-long open question in the field. In total, we will show that this new model, using three material parameters, quantitatively matches the flow and stress data from over 160 experiments in several different families of geometries.


Professor Ken Kamrin received his BS in Engineering Physics at UC Berkeley in 2003 and his PhD in applied mathematics at MIT in May 2008. He worked for two years as an NSF Postdoctoral Research Fellow and Applied Mathematics Lecturer at Harvard University in the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences. In 2011, Kamrin joined the faculty of the department of Mechanical Engineering at MIT, and shortly thereafter received an appointment as the Class of 1956 Career Development Chair. Kamrin's research focuses on continuum modeling and computational continuum mechanics, with interests spanning fluids, solids, and rheologically complex matter. In 2010, Kamrin received the Nicholas Metropolis Award from the American Physical Society for best doctoral thesis in computational physics. He was awarded the NSF CAREER Award at the end of 2012.


Amorphous matter, fluid mechanics, solid mechanics, computation

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