Research interests

Nicolas Taberlet

Gravity-driven granular flows

Grains flowing on an incline are reminescent of a liquid but the mechanical properties of individual grains (friction, modulus, dissipation) influence the packing fraction, the thickness and velocity profile of the flow.

Nature Materials 6, 99 (2007).
J. Physics: Condensed Matter 17, S2457 (2005).
Physical Review Letters 91, 264301 (2003).
Europhysics Letters 68, 515 (2004).

Supported flows

Rapid flows of granular material over a bumpy base can display an interesting regime in which a dense plug flow is supported by a dilute and agitated layer of grains. The dissipation in this regime can differ strongly from that of dense granular flows.

European Physical Journal E. 22, 17 (2007).


S-shape of granular flows in a rotating drum

Granular material in a rotating drum can display a surprizing curved profile. This peculiar shape can be caused by centrifugal forces but we show that it may also be due to friction on the side-walls of the drum. A model which allows to predic the shape is proposed.

Physical Review E 73, 050301 (2006).



Axial segregation in rotating drums

When binary mixtures of grains (containing small and large particles) is placed in a rotating drum, the may segregate over time. Particle of one species tend to agregate in a well-defined pattern. This phenomenon is reproduced and investigated using numerical simulations.

Soft Matter 4, 1345 (2008)
Journal of Statistical Mechanics P07013 (2006).



Particle diffusion in a rotating drum

In order to better understand the mechanisms behind axial segregation in rotating drums, the diffusion of a band of large particles among smaller grains is studied. We show that the diffusion can be predicted using a ad hoc diffusion coefficient.

Physical Review E 73, 041301 (2006).


Washboard Road Instability

When submitted to repeated passages of vehicles, unpaved road tend to developp a regular wavy pattern known as washboard road. I have studied this phenomenon extensively in lab-scale experiments as well as numerical simulations.

Phys. Rev. E 87, 012203 (2013)
Phys. Rev. E 84, 051302 (2011)
Phys. Rev. E 79, 061308 (2009)
Phy. Rev. Lett. 99, 068003 (2007).

Vorticity-aligned structure in attractive gels

Under shear, attractive gels made of carbon black particle or cohesive glass particles may for a regular vorticity-aligned pattern. This instability is investigated through experiments and numerical simulations. We show that the pattern characteristics depend strongly on the gap, the shear rate and the depth of the attraction potiential.

Soft Matter, 7, 3920-3928 (2011)


Yielding of complex fluids

The yielding process of gels (carbon black gels and laponite suspensions) under stress is studied in rheometrical experiments and a model is proposed to account for the inhomogeneities.

J. of Rheol., 58, 1331-1357 (2014)
Soft Matter, 12, Issue: 6, 1701-1712 (2016)

Compaction under thermal cycling

When an assembly of grains is submitted to thermal cycling its packing fraction gradually increases. This compaction is due to local rearrangement within the pile caused by infinitesimal variation in the volume of the grains and of the container.

Eur. Physics Letters 104, 24001 (2013)