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Development of an unresolved CFD–DEM model for the flow of viscous suspensions and its application to solid–liquid mixing

Bruno Blais, Manon Lassaigne, Christoph Goniva, Louis Fradette and François Bertrand

Article (2016)

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Cite this document: Blais, B., Lassaigne, M., Goniva, C., Fradette, L. & Bertrand, F. (2016). Development of an unresolved CFD–DEM model for the flow of viscous suspensions and its application to solid–liquid mixing. Journal of Computational Physics, 318, p. 201-221. doi:10.1016/j.jcp.2016.05.008
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Although viscous solid–liquid mixing plays a key role in the industry, the vast majority of the literature on the mixing of suspensions is centered around the turbulent regime of operation. However, the laminar and transitional regimes face considerable challenges. In particular, it is important to know the minimum impeller speed () that guarantees the suspension of all particles. In addition, local information on the flow patterns is necessary to evaluate the quality of mixing and identify the presence of dead zones. Multiphase computational fluid dynamics (CFD) is a powerful tool that can be used to gain insight into local and macroscopic properties of mixing processes. Among the variety of numerical models available in the literature, which are reviewed in this work, unresolved CFD–DEM, which combines CFD for the fluid phase with the discrete element method (DEM) for the solid particles, is an interesting approach due to its accurate prediction of the granular dynamics and its capability to simulate large amounts of particles. In this work, the unresolved CFD–DEM method is extended to viscous solid–liquid flows. Different solid–liquid momentum coupling strategies, along with their stability criteria, are investigated and their accuracies are compared. Furthermore, it is shown that an additional sub-grid viscosity model is necessary to ensure the correct rheology of the suspensions. The proposed model is used to study solid–liquid mixing in a stirred tank equipped with a pitched blade turbine. It is validated qualitatively by comparing the particle distribution against experimental observations, and quantitatively by compairing the fraction of suspended solids with results obtained via the pressure gauge technique.

Uncontrolled Keywords

Solid–liquid mixing; Multiphase flows; Computational fluid dynamics; Discrete element method; CFD–DEM

Open Access document in PolyPublie
Subjects: 1800 Génie chimique > 1800 Génie chimique
Department: Département de génie chimique
Research Center: URPEI - Unité de recherche en procédés d'écoulements industriels
Funders: CRSNG/NSERC, CRSNG/NSERC - Vanier Scholarship, Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI), Ministère de l'Économie, de l'Innovation et des Exportations du Québec (MEIE), RMGA, Fonds de recherche du Québec – Nature et technologies (FRQ-NT)
Date Deposited: 11 Aug 2021 17:35
Last Modified: 22 Oct 2021 16:46
PolyPublie URL: https://publications.polymtl.ca/9065/
Document issued by the official publisher
Journal Title: Journal of Computational Physics (vol. 318)
Publisher: Elsevier
Official URL: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jcp.2016.05.008


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