• stereo-particle image velocimetry experiment;
  • large eddy simulation;
  • curved-blade turbine;
  • stirred tank;
  • hydrodynamics

The flow characteristics in pilot-scale stirred tanks with Rushton and curved-blade turbines were investigated by using stereoscopic particle image velocimetry (SPIV) experiments and large eddy simulation (LES) methods. The velocity and turbulent kinetic energy (TKE) in the impeller discharge regions were carefully resolved with a high resolution SPIV system, and the detailed phase-resolved velocity and TKE profiles were used to validate the LES results. The effects of Reynolds number and blade shape on the flow characteristics were discussed. The LES results of velocity, TKE, and the evolution of trailing vortices were compared with the SPIV experimental data, and good agreement was obtained at various phase angles. The effects of subgrid scale model and hybrid grid with different mesh resolutions on the LES results were investigated. LES is a computationally affordable method for the accurate predictions of the complex flow fields in pilot-scale stirred tanks is presented. © 2013 American Institute of Chemical Engineers AIChE J, 59: 3986–4003, 2013