Department of Physics Papers

Document Type

Journal Article

Date of this Version



We report the effects of system geometry on the clogging of granular material flowing out of flat-bottomed hoppers with variable aperture size D and with variable angle θ of tilt of the hopper away from horizontal. In general, larger tilt angles make the system more susceptible to clogging. To quantify this effect for a given θ, we measure the distribution of mass discharged between clogging events as a function of aperture size and extrapolate to the critical size at which the average mass diverges. By repeating for different angles, we map out a clogging phase diagram as a function of Dand θ that demarcates the regimes of free flow (large D, small θ) and clogging (small D, large θ). We do this for both circular holes and long rectangular slits. Additionally, we measure four types of grain: smooth spheres (glass beads), compact angular grains (beach sand), disklike grains (lentils), and rodlike grains (rice). For circular apertures, the clogging phase diagram is found to be the same for all grain types. For narrow slit apertures and compact grains, the shape is also the same as for circular holes when expressed in terms of projected area of the aperture against the average flow direction. For lentils and rice discharged from slits, the behavior differs and may be due to alignment between grain and slit axes.


Thomas, C. C., & Durian, D. J. (2013). Geometry dependence of the clogging transition in tilted hoppers. Physical Review E, 87(5), 052201. doi: 10.1103/PhysRevE.87.052201

©2013 American Physical Society

Included in

Physics Commons



Date Posted: 09 May 2013

This document has been peer reviewed.