Dataset for "How particle shape affects granular segregation in industrial and geophysical flows"

Published: 29 November 2023| Version 1 | DOI: 10.17632/xchtmc2pp8.1


Granular materials like cereal, pharmaceuticals, sand and concrete commonly organize such that grains segregate according to size rather than uniformly mixing. For example, in a jar of nuts, the largest ones are commonly found at the top. Here, we use computer simulations to explore how grain shape controls this phenomenon in industrial and natural settings. We find that even small differences in shape can substantially change the amount and style of segregation, with different effects depending on whether the system is wet or dry. This study demonstrates the importance of grain shape in different systems ranging from food and medicine production to geophysical hazards and processes such as landslides, river erosion, and debris flows on Earth and other celestial bodies. This dataset contains examples in how to perform the simulations and the results shown in the manuscript How particle shape affects granular segregation in industrial and geophysical flows.


Steps to reproduce

* The Simulations folder contains 4 examples for running the numerical simulations, the folders are detailed below: - For the case of the rotating drum. It is needed to install the open-software LIGGGHTS with the version fibers which models the bonded particles. The software can be found in The rotating drum folder contains 3 cases to develop the simulations for the cases of 1) spheres, 2) spheres and cubes (bonded spheres), and 3) spheres and cubes (superquadrics). To develop the different simulations, the user must change the size of the particles in the files placed inside each folder. - For the case of channel, where we developed simulations of particles with the presence of a fluid flow. We used the open-software CFDEM ( To install the version used in the manuscript, the user must clone the fibers version of LIGGGHTS detailed previously instead of the normal version. After that, the user can run the numerical simulation by executing the file The sizes of the particles to be used in the simulations can be changed in the file in.liggghts_init depending on the case. * After the simulations are done, the postprocessing data is made from the particles data only. For that, every case will create 2 folders containing dump files for particle information (e.g. type, id, position, velocity, force, diameter) and force chains (to determine anisotropy results). The file extract_info_simulations.m is used to extract the data from the dump files and create data files that can be read by MATLAB. * Post-processing the data. This folder contains 3 folders: 1) To postprocess data from the rotating drum cases, 2) To postprocess data from the channel cases, and 3) To generate the figures shown in the manuscript. - Rotating drum cases: The final_processing_xxx.m is to obtain the temporal evolution of segregation levels for the cases of xxx = bonded, bonded cubes, superquadrics and spheres. The final_processing_xxx_revision.m is used to determine the evolution of the packing fraction for each case. Finally, the final_processing_xxx_revision_gran_temp.m is used to determine the evolution of the mean velocity for each case. To get this data, the user must upload the data file located in the folder data. Due to limitations in storage in mendeley data, we only uploaded one case for bonded cubes and spheres. (FOR MORE CASES, PLEASE REQUEST THE FILES TO F. CUNEZ). - Channel cases: Run the Concentration_profile.m script to load data and to generate the results such as PDF's, concentration profiles and the temporal evolution of segregation levels for each case. -Once the results are generated, they can be uploaded by the file Final_figures.m located at the folder Figures to generate the final figures shown in the manuscript


University of Rochester


Geophysics, Granular Material, Discrete Element Method, Segregation, Fluid Flows Numerical Simulation


American Chemical Society Petroleum Research Fund