• turbulence modulation;
  • colloidal particles;
  • aggregation


Streamwise turbulence intensities of fine particulate suspensions were studied in a 26 mm N.B. horizontal pipe loop. Colloidal silica spheres were prepared in 10−4M and 1M KNO3 solutions to control the degree of aggregate formation in the suspension. Using an ultrasonic Doppler velocity profiling sensor, the turbulence intensities of the fine particle suspensions were compared with those of a particle-free flow over a range of Reynolds numbers. At low electrolyte concentration, the silica particles remain dispersed, with the turbulence intensity of the suspension flow comparable with that of the particle-free flow. At high electrolyte concentration, increased particle-particle interaction leads to the formation of particle aggregates which support turbulence augmentation over a critical Reynolds number range. The range of Reynolds numbers over which this turbulence enhancement is observed is limited by both fluid dynamic effects at low Reynolds numbers (Re ≈ 5500) and aggregate breakup at high Reynolds numbers (Re ≈ 8000). © 2010 American Institute of Chemical Engineers AIChE J, 2011