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Abstract

A model of floc destruction resulting form mass forces in a centrifugal field is postulated and its validity examined. This model is to be regarded as a supplement to the existing shear-loading disagglomeration models. In order to verify this additional floc disintegration mechanism, appropriate investigations were carried out with flocculated suspensions of silica and Hamburg dock sludge. As a result, in addition to floc disintegration by shear forces within a turbulent flow and in the centrifuge inlet, the existence of another mechanism was demonstrated. This consists in the floc destruction in a centrifugal field where particles in excess of a certain size, or specifically heavier components, are preferentially torn out of the floc. This floc disintegration by mass forces can lead to a classification effect in centrifuges which also subject the flocs to instant high centrifugal forces.