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Influence of humidity on tribo-electric charging and segregation in shaken granular media

MPS-Authors
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Schella,  André
Department of Dynamics of Complex Fluids, Max Planck Institute for Dynamics and Self-Organization, Max Planck Society;

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Herminghaus,  Stephan
Group Granular matter and irreversibility, Department of Dynamics of Complex Fluids, Max Planck Institute for Dynamics and Self-Organization, Max Planck Society;

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Schröter,  Matthias
Group Statistical mechanics of granular media, Department of Dynamics of Complex Fluids, Max Planck Institute for Dynamics and Self-Organization, Max Planck Society;

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Citation

Schella, A., Herminghaus, S., & Schröter, M. (2017). Influence of humidity on tribo-electric charging and segregation in shaken granular media. Soft Matter, 13(2), 394-401. doi:10.1039/C6SM02041K.


Cite as: http://hdl.handle.net/11858/00-001M-0000-002C-25D9-9
Abstract
We study the effect of humidity on the charge accumulation of polymer granulates shaken vertically in a stainless steel container. This setup allows us to control the humidity level from 5% to 100%RH while performing automated charge measurements in a Faraday cup directly connected to the shaking container. We find that samples of approximately 2000 polymer spheres become highly charged at low humidity levels (<30%RH), but acquire almost no charge for humidity levels above 80%RH. The transition between these two regimes does depend on the material, as does the sign of the charge. For the latter we find a correlation with the contact angle of the polymer with only very hydrophilic particles attaining positive charges. We show that this humidity dependence of tribo-charging can be used to control segregation in shaken binary mixtures.