Rapid granular flows on a rough incline: phase diagram, gas transition, and effects of air drag
T. Börzsönyi and R.E. Ecke
[Phys.Rev.E. 74, 061301 (2006).]
We report experiments on the overall phase diagram of granular flows on an incline with emphasis on high inclination angles where the mean layer velocity approaches the terminal velocity of a single particle free falling in air. The granular flow was characterized by measurements of the surface velocity, the average layer height, and the mean density of the layer as functions of the hopper opening, the plane inclination angle and the downstream distance x of the flow. At high inclination angles the flow does not reach an x-invariant steady state over the length of the inclined plane. For low volume flow rates, a transition was detected between dense and very dilute (gas) flow regimes. We show using a vacuum flow channel that air did not qualitatively change the phase diagram and did not quantitatively modify mean flow velocities of the granular layer except for small changes in the very dilute gas-like phase.

Picture of the experimental setup:

Phase diagram of the flow regimes in the phase space defined by the hopper opening H and the plane inclination angle.

Normalized mean density of the flow as a function of the plane inclination angle.