Drag force in discrete particle models—Continuum scale or single particle scale?


Correspondence concerning this article should be addressed to S. H. L. Kriebitzsch at S.H.L.Kriebitzsch@tue.nl.


Unresolved discrete particle (DP) models, where a Lagrangian method is used for the solid phase, and a Eulerian method for the fluid phase, have become increasingly popular. The fluctuations of the drag force on individual particles in a homogeneous random array obtained from fully resolved simulations using a lattice Boltzmann method were analysed; such fluctuations are by construction ignored in the unresolved DP model. The drag on individual particles in the array can differ up to 40% with the drag that would be used in DP type simulations was found. A detailed analysis shows that the drag on an individual particle depends strongly on all its surrounding neighbors within a distance of at least two particle diameters. As in DP models, the local flow field is unresolved, the conclusion is that this root mean square (RMS) deviation in the drag force is inherent to the model. © 2012 American Institute of Chemical Engineers AIChE J, 59: 316–324, 2013