On the use of magnetic particles to enhance the flow of vibrated grains through narrow apertures


The flow of grains through narrow apertures possess an extraordinary challenge: clogging. Strategies to alleviate the effect of clogging, such as the use of external vibration or addition of smaller grains, are always part of the design of machinery for the handling of bulk materials. In this work, we study with numerical simulations the effect of adding self-repelling magnetic particles to a sample of grains. We consider a vibrated two-dimensional hopper with a small orifice through which disks flow and clog intermittently. We find that the magnetic repulsion has a second order effect in comparison with the effect of the size of the added grains. Small added grains ease the flow of the original species. However, when the magnetic repulsion is switched on for the added small grains their ``lubricating’’ effect is usually lessened. Only for a narrow range of sizes of the added particles we observe a subtle improvement of flow rate of the original particles with magnetic repulsion.

Granular Matter