Flow Channel Boundaries in Silos

Y. Yang, M. Rotter, J. Ooi, Y. Wang

Research output: Journal PublicationArticlepeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


The critical slip planes at the silo filling state are compared with the flow channel boundary during silo discharge for semi-mass flows. The static critical slip planes are determined by using the dynamic programming method based on the stress field of granular solids stored in silos at the filling state. The flow channel boundary is estimated through the finite element analysis of the silo discharge. The results indicate that the critical slip line lies above the flow channel boundary. This characteristic can be attributed to the changeover of major principal stress directions of granular solids from the silo filling to the silo discharge. The analysis demonstrates that the silo wall friction tends to lift up the critical slip plane and flow boundary. A simple correlation is developed between the positions of critical slip planes and flow boundaries and is experimentally verified. Identifications of flow channel boundaries in silos are studied by using a static slope stability analysis and the dynamic finite element method. A simple approach is developed and experimentally verified to identify positions of flow channel boundaries. The disagreements of diverse assumptions of flow channel boundaries in numerical computations concerning silo discharges are identified.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1295-1302
Number of pages8
JournalChemical Engineering and Technology
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2011
Externally publishedYes


  • Dynamic programming method
  • Finite element method
  • Flow channel boundary
  • Plasticity
  • Slip plane

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry (all)
  • Chemical Engineering (all)
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering


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