This paper studies the rapid simple shearing flow of dry cohesionless metal powders contained between parallel rotating plates. In this study, an annular shear cell test apparatus was used; the dry metal powders are rapidly sheared by rotating one of the shear surfaces while the other shear surface remains fixed. Such a flow geometry is of interest to tribologists working in the area of dry or powder lubrication. The shear stress and normal stress on the stationary surface are measured as a function of the following parameters: shear surface boundary material and roughness, the shear-cell gap thickness, the shear-rate and the fractional solids content. Both the fractional solids content and the gap thickness are kept at prescribed values during stress measurements. In this experiment the metal powder tested is different from the shear transmission surface material; the effect on the measured normal and shear stress data are reported. The results show the dependence of the normal stress and the shear stress on the shear-rate, particle density and particle diameter. Likewise, a significant stress dependence on both the fractional solids content and the shear-cell gap thickness was observed.

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