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TRITOS Report Summary

Project ID: 616186
Funded under: FP7-IDEAS-ERC
Country: Sweden

Mid-Term Report Summary - TRITOS (TRansItions and Turbulence Of complex Suspensions)

The aim of this project is to forge a physical understanding of the transitions and of the turbulent flow of particle suspensions, for different particle shapes and deformability and suspending fluids.
It is estimated that 10% of the world energy consumption is due to the transport and handling of granular materials of which particle suspensions are an important part. A deep understanding of the flow of suspensions and of the turbulence of these multiphase systems is crucial for many important practical applications involving engineered complex fluids, such as pastes and paper pulp. Complex fluids are multiscale by nature as the physics at the microscale (fluid-particle and particle-particle interactions) affects the macroscopic behaviour of the flow and vice versa giving rise to surprising and fascinating phenomena.
In this project, we combine numerical simulations and laboratory experiments to tackle challenging scientific and engineering examples, with focus on the flow in channels and ducts. Thanks to the fast development of computational resources, we have designed new efficient algorithms that allow us to track and fully resolve hundred of thousands of particles in a turbulent flow. In the numerical simulations we resolve the particle interface and model friction and contact forces. The main achievements so far concern the behavior of rigid particles: we have identified the different regimes characterizing the flow of a suspension when varying the imposed flow rate, the particle size and shape, the number of particles and their density. A formula has been successfully derived to estimate the total drag from the particle volume fraction and size. We have shown how the power necessary to transport particles decrease for flat disc-like shapes and quantified the increase in mixing and heat transfer due to the presence of the particles. In the future we will consider deformable particles and elastic fibers as well as a visco-elastic suspending fluid.

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