It is vital to understand and be able to predict the rheological behaviour of complex granular systems, such as powders, pastes and slurries, for efficient processing of such materials. The need for increasing predictive capability requires linking particle-scale properties and mechanics to bulk behaviour. In this project, we aim to establish a multiscale continuum theory with greater predictive capability for engineering applications, including extrusion of pastes.
We employ an approach integrating fundamental continuum theory, novel experimentation and high-performance computing. We characterise the rheological behaviour of generic dense granular systems using novel techniques coupling confocal microscopy with rheometer. The results will be used to inform and validate the developed constitutive models, which will be incorporated into computer codes to simulate granular flows in relevant industrial applications.