Challenges and improvements in applying a particle image velocimetry (PIV) approach to granular flows

Luca Sarno, Yih Chin Tai, Armando Carravetta, Riccardo Martino, Maria Nicolina Papa, Chih Yu Kuo

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review

20 Citations (Scopus)


The particle image velocimetry (PIV) is a well-established non-invasive optical technique for measuring the velocity field in fluids. Recently, the PIV approach has been extended to granular flows, where the medium under investigation is composed of a discrete number of grains that are typically non-transparent and of super-millimetric size. Granular PIV (g-PIV) still represents a non-standard application, as some accuracy concerns arise. In particular, since granular flows can be highly sheared, the choice of appropriate interrogation windows for the PIV analysis is not trivial. As well, owing to the spatially-averaged nature of the PIV approach, the estimation of second-order statistics remains a very challenging task. Here, we report a laboratory investigation on dry granular flows composed of glass spheres in a rotating drum. The velocity measurements at the sidewall are obtained by using a window deformation multi-pass PIV approach, where the open-source code PIVlab has been specifically used. Different combinations of the number of PIV passes and of interrogation windows are investigated. A slightly modified version of PIVlab allowed us to carry out g-PIV calculations with an arbitrary number of passes (i.e. greater than 4). Comparisons among different analyses helped us to identify reliable settings for g-PIV applications.

Original languageEnglish
Article number012011
JournalJournal of Physics: Conference Series
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2019 Jun 5
Event26th A.I.VE.LA. Annual Meeting - Milan, Italy
Duration: 2018 Nov 292018 Nov 30

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Physics and Astronomy


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