Migration of finite sized particles in a laminar square channel flow from low to high Reynolds numbers

Abstract : The migration of neutrally buoyant finite sized particles in a Newtonian square channel flow is investigated in the limit of very low solid volumetric concentration, within a wide range of channel Reynolds numbers Re = [0.07-120]. In situ microscope measurements of particle distributions, taken far from the channel inlet (at a distance several thousand times the channel height), revealed that particles are preferentially located near the channel walls at Re > 10 and near the channel center at Re < 1. Whereas the cross-streamline particle motion is governed by inertia-induced lift forces at high inertia, it seems to be controlled by shear-induced particle interactions at low (but finite) Reynolds numbers, despite the low solid volume fraction (<1%). The transition between both regimes is observed in the range Re = [1-10]. In order to exclude the effect of multi-body interactions, the trajectories of single freely moving particles are calculated thanks to numerical simulations based on the force coupling method. With the deployed numerical tool, the complete particle trajectories are accessible within a reasonable computational time only in the inertial regime (Re > 10). In this regime, we show that (i) the particle undergoes cross-streamline migration followed by a cross-lateral migration (parallel to the wall) in agreement with previous observations, and (ii) the stable equilibrium positions are located at the midline of the channel faces while the diagonal equilibrium positions are unstable. At low flow inertia, the first instants of the numerical simulations (carried at Re = O(1)) reveal that the cross-streamline migration of a single particle is oriented towards the channel wall, suggesting that the particle preferential positions around the channel center, observed in the experiments, are rather due to multi-body interactions.
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M. Abbas, Pascale Magaud, Y. Gao, Sandrine Geoffroy. Migration of finite sized particles in a laminar square channel flow from low to high Reynolds numbers. Physics of Fluids, American Institute of Physics, 2014, 26 (12), pp.123301. ⟨10.1063/1.4902952⟩. ⟨hal-01850763⟩

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