A method to analyze shear cell data of powders measured under different initial consolidation stresses

Yifan Wang, Sara Koynov, Benjamin J. Glasser, Fernando J. Muzzio

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

29 Scopus citations


Purpose: The shear cell test has been widely used to characterize flow properties of powders and granular materials. The purpose of this study is to address the gap between the extensive usage of the test and the limited methods available to analyze the data, and to introduce methodologies for comparing results for different initial consolidation stresses, materials, and testing devices. Method: A library of shear cell data was established. Forty-one powders were included, and each material was tested under four different initial consolidation stresses. For each initial consolidation stress, 3 sampling replicates were performed. Results: A dimensionless cohesion, C*, was defined as the cohesion divided by the initial consolidation stress. By identifying a correlation between the flow function coefficient (ffc) and C*, the effects of the initial consolidation stress and the testing device were separated. In addition, by identifying a mathematical correlation between the unconfined yield strength and the cohesion, the yield loci from different initial consolidation stresses could be collapsed into a single material characteristic line, enabling one to characterize each material by a single number (the characteristic slope). This approach can be used to economically compare different materials, or different testing devices. Conclusion: The proposed method augments shear cell data analysis and significantly reduces the complexity of the shear cell data.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)105-112
Number of pages8
JournalPowder Technology
StatePublished - Jun 1 2016

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Chemical Engineering(all)


  • Database
  • Mohr circle
  • Powder flow
  • Shear cell

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