Gravitational Collapse of Rectangular Granular Piles

M.H. Babaei[1], T. Dabros[2], S.B. Savage[3]
[1]Ocean, Coastal, and River Engineering, National Research Council of Canada, Ottawa, ON, Canada
[2]Natural Resources Canada, CanmetENERGY, Devon, AB, Canada
[3]Department of Civil Engineering & Applied Mechanics, McGill University, Montreal, QC, Canada
Published in 2012

In this study, the dam-break type two-dimensional gravitational collapse of rectangular granular piles in air was numerically studied. The frictional behavior of the material was based on the von-Mises model with the Mohr-Coulomb yield surface leading to pressure and strain-rate-dependence of shear viscosity. The governing equations of the problem were solved using the COMSOL two-phase flow CFD Module with the level-set method used for accurate tracking of interfaces. This model successfully captured the stable heaps formed at the end of the collapse. The evolutions of shape and velocity field for collapsing piles of two different initial pile orientations (aspect ratios) were investigated. The comparison of the final shapes of the collapsed piles was in accordance with the experimental measurements available in the literature.