Gravity-driven, dry granular flows over a loose bed in stationary and homogeneous conditions
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Flows involving solid particulates have been widely studied in recent years, but their dynamics are still a complex issue to model because they strongly depend on the interaction with the boundary conditions. We report on laboratory investigations regarding homogeneous and steady flows of identical particles over a loose bed in a rectangular channel. Accurate measurements were carried out through imaging techniques to estimate profiles of the mean velocity, solid concentration, and granular temperature for a large set of flow rates and widths. Vertical and transversal structures observed in the flow change as interparticle interactions become more collisional, and they depend on the bottom over which the flow develops. The lateral confinement has a remarkable effect on the flow, especially for narrow channels compared with the grain size, and a hydraulic analogy is able to show how the walls influence the mechanisms of friction and energy dissipation.