Characterization of the drag force in an air-moderated granular bed†
We measure the torque acting on a rod rotated perpendicular to its axis in a granular bed, through which an upflow of gas is utilized to tune the hydrostatic loading between grains. At low rotation rates the torque is independent of speed, but scales quadratically with rod-length and linearly with depth; the proportionality approaches zero linearly as the upflow of gas is increased towards a critical value above which the grains are fluidized. At high rotation rates the torque exhibits quadratic rate-dependence and scales as the rod's length to the 4th power. The torque has no dependence on either depth or airflow at these higher rates. A model used to describe the stopping force experienced by a projectile impacting a granular bed can be shown to predict these behaviors for our system's geometry, indicating that the same mechanics dictate both steady-state and transient drag forces in granular systems, regardless of geometry or material properties of the grains.
- This article is part of the themed collection: Granular and jammed materials