Laboratory and field tests and distinct element analysis of dry granular flows and segregation processes
Natural as well as fill slopes are commonly found in Hong Kong, China, and many other countries, and slope failures with the subsequent debris flows have caused a serious loss of life and property in the past until now. There are various processes and features associated with debris flow which engineers need to know so as to design for the precautionary measures. In this study, experiments on flume tests, friction tests, deposition tests, and rebound tests were carried out for different sizes of balls to determine the parameters required for the modelling of dry granular flow. Different materials and sizes of balls are used in the flume tests, and various flow pattern and segregation phenomena are noticed in the tests. Distinct element modelling (DEM) of dry granular flow is also carried out for the flow process. It is found that for simple cases, the flow process can be modelled reasonably well by DEM, which is crucial for engineers to determine the pattern and impact of granular flow, which will lead to further study in more complicated debris flow. From laboratory tests, large-scale field tests, and numerical simulations of single- and multiple-material tests, it is also found that the particle size will be the most critical factor in the segregation process during granular flow. It is also found from the laboratory tests and numerical simulations that a jump in the flume can help to reduce the final velocity of the granular flow, which is useful for practical purposes.