Free-surface film flow of a suspension and a related concentration instability

by Timberlake, Brian Davis

Abstract (Summary)
Film flow of a suspension has been investigated both experimentally and theoretically. Gravity-driven free-surface inclined plane flow of a suspension of neutrally buoyant particles has been investigated using a stereoscopic particle imaging velocimetry technique. Particles have been shown to migrate away from the solid surface, and the film thickness has been shown to decrease as the fluid moves down the inclined plane. The free surface has been characterized using a light reflection technique, which shows that surface topography is affected by the inclination angle, and the particle concentration. This flow has been modeled based on a suspension normal stress approach. A boundary condition at the free surface has been examined, and model predictions have been compared with experimental results. The model predicts that the film thickness, relative to its initial value, will decrease with the bulk particle concentration. The thin film flow over the inner cylinder in partially filled Couette flow of a suspension has been experimentally investigated as well as modeled. Concentration bands have been shown to form under a variety of different fill fractions, bulk particle concentrations, inclination angles, ratio of inner to outer cylinder, and rotation rates of the inner cylinder. The banding phenomena ranges from a regime where bands are small, mobile and relatively similar in concentration to the bulk, to a regime where the concentration bands are larger, stationary, and where the space between them is completely devoid of particles. The role of the film thickness in the band formation process has been investigated, and has led to a model for the band formation process based on a difference in the rate that fluid can drain from height fluctuations relative to the particles.
Bibliographical Information:

Advisor:Ludovice, Peter; Lee, Jay; Meredith, Carson; Morris, Jeff; Neitzel, Paul

School:Georgia Institute of Technology

School Location:USA - Georgia

Source Type:Master's Thesis

Keywords:chemical engineering


Date of Publication:04/01/2004

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