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Keywords:

  • solid–liquid flow;
  • turbulence;
  • aggregation;
  • lattice-Boltzmann method;
  • square-well potential

Abstract

Direct numerical simulations of turbulent solid–liquid suspensions have been performed. The liquid is Newtonian, and the particles are identical spheres. The spheres have a tendency to aggregate since they are attracted to one another as a result of a square-well potential. The size of the particles is typically larger than the Kolmogorov scale, albeit of the same order of magnitude. In such situations, the particle dynamics (including the aggregation process), and turbulence strongly interact which explains the need for direct simulations. The lattice-Boltzmann method combined with an immersed boundary method for representing the no-slip conditions at the spherical solid–liquid interfaces was used. The results show that the aggregate size distributions depend on both the strength of particle–particle interactions and the intensity of the turbulence. © 2011 American Institute of Chemical Engineers AIChE J, 58: 2589–2600, 2012