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Keywords:

  • bifurcating channel;
  • suspension flow;
  • shear-induced migration;
  • diffusive flux model;
  • numerical simulation

Suspensions of solid particles in viscous fluid flowing through bifurcating channels are encountered in various industrial processes and biological applications. This work reports the detailed numerical simulations of shear-induced particle migration in oblique bifurcating channels. The effect of particle concentration, bifurcation angle, and flow rate on the partitioning of bulk flow and particles in the downstream branches is studied. It was observed that the particle distribution in the downstream branches does not follow the flow distribution due to shear-induced particle migration. The velocity and concentration profile for suspension flow were observed to be symmetric in the inlet branch but asymmetric in the daughter branches. The degree of asymmetry and bluntness of velocity profile was observed to depend on the bulk particle concentration and bifurcation angle. The reported results could be useful in the design of flow devices handling suspension transport in bifurcating channels. © 2014 American Institute of Chemical Engineers AIChE J, 60: 2692–2704, 2014