From Quasi-static to Intermediate Regimes in Shear Cell Devices: Theory and Characterisation

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The design of new technology for processing and manufacturing particulate products requires understanding granular rheology over a broad range of conditions. Powders display a complex behaviour due to their ability to rearrange under stress, and as a result, granular flow is generally classified into three flow regimes, namely a quasi-static regime dominated by frictional contacts, an inertial regime dominated by collisional and kinematic stresses and an intermediate regime where the three sources of stress are important to establish a stress-strain rate relationship. Characterisation of the flowability is generally restricted to the flow initiation in quasi-static regime, even if, transition into inertial conditions is very common in practical applications involving the control of dense flows, such as powder handling, particle formation processes or additive manufacturing. This work presents a critical review of available techniques to characterise the departure from the quasi-static regime into an intermediate flow. We revise the application of shear cells and present different strategies to modify classic devices with external actuation, such as aeration, to operate at higher inertial numbers. We pay particular attention to innovative designs using aerated Couette flow configurations, highlight the complexity in the standardisation and the challenges in advancing towards a universal model.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3-25
Number of pages23
JournalKONA Powder and Particle Journal
Early online date26 Sept 2020
Publication statusPublished - 10 Jan 2021


  • Aeration
  • Characterisation
  • Couette flow
  • Flowability
  • Granular rheology
  • Shear cell

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Chemistry
  • General Chemical Engineering
  • General Materials Science
  • General Engineering


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