Shape matters: Competing mechanisms of particle shape segregation
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It is well-known that granular mixtures that differ in size or shape segregate when sheared. In the past, two mechanisms have been proposed to describe this effect, and it is unclear if both exist. To settle this question, we consider a bidisperse mixture of spheroids of equal volume in a rotating drum, where the two mechanisms are predicted to act in opposite directions. We present the first evidence that there are two distinct segregation mechanisms driven by relative over-stress. Additionally, we showed that for non-spherical particles, these two mechanisms can act in different directions leading to a competition between the effects of the two. As a result, the segregation intensity varies nonmonotonically as a function of AR, and at specific points, the segregation direction changes for both prolate and oblate spheroids, explaining the surprising segregation reversal previously reported. Consistent with previous results, we found that the kinetic mechanism is dominant for (almost) spherical particles. Furthermore, for moderate aspect ratios, the kinetic mechanism is responsible for the spherical particles segregation to the periphery of the drum, and the gravity mechanism plays only a minor role. Whereas, at the extreme values of AR, the gravity mechanism notably increases and overtakes its kinetic counterpart.