Shear-induced crystallization of a dense rapid granular flow: Hydrodynamics beyond the melting point

Evgeniy Khain*, Baruch Meerson

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Scopus citations


We investigate shear-induced crystallization in a very dense flow of monodisperse inelastic hard spheres. We consider a steady plane Couette flow under constant pressure and neglect gravity. We assume that the granular density is greater than the melting point of the equilibrium phase diagram of elastic hard spheres. We employ a Navier-Stokes hydrodynamics with constitutive relations all of which (except the shear viscosity) diverge at the crystal-packing density, while the shear viscosity diverges at a smaller density. The phase diagram of the steady flow is described by three parameters: an effective Mach number, a scaled energy loss parameter, and an integer number m: the number of half-oscillations in a mechanical analogy that appears in this problem. In a steady shear flow the viscous heating is balanced by energy dissipation via inelastic collisions. This balance can have different forms, producing either a uniform shear flow or a variety of more complicated, nonlinear density, velocity, and temperature profiles. In particular, the model predicts a variety of multilayer two-phase steady shear flows with sharp interphase boundaries. Such a flow may include a few zero-shear (solidlike) layers, each of which moving as a whole, separated by fluidlike regions. As we are dealing with a hard sphere model, the granulate is fluidized within the "solid" layers: the granular temperature is nonzero there, and there is energy flow through the boundaries of the solid layers. A linear stability analysis of the uniform steady shear flow is performed, and a plausible bifurcation diagram of the system, for a fixed m, is suggested. The problem of selection of m remains open.

Original languageAmerican English
Article number061301
JournalPhysical Review E
Issue number6
StatePublished - 2006


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