Zuriguel I, Janda A, Garcimartin A, Lozano C, Arevalo R, Maza D. Silo Clogging Reduction by the Presence of an Obstacle. Phys Rev Lett 2011;107(27).
We present experimental results on the effect that inserting an obstacle just above the outlet of a silo has on the clogging process. We find that, if the obstacle position is properly selected, the probability that the granular flow is arrested can be reduced by a factor of 100. This dramatic effect occurs without any
remarkable modification of the flow rate or the packing fraction above the outlet, which are discarded as the cause of the change in the clogging probability. Hence, inspired by previous results of pedestrian crowd dynamics, we propose that the physical mechanism behind the clogging reduction is a pressure decrease in the region of arch formation.