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Wear 252 (2002) 179–188
On numerical modeling of particle–wall impaction in relationto erosion prediction: Eulerian versus Lagrangian method
B.E. Lee, J.Y. Tu, C.A.J. Fletcher
Centre for Advanced Numerical Computation in Engineering and Science (CANCES), The University of New South Wales, Sydney 2052, Australia
Received 31 January 2001; received in revised form 18 June 2001; accepted 31 July 2001
The modeling of particle–wall impaction in a confined gas-particle flow using both Lagrangian and Eulerian approaches is reported.The Lagrangian method is based on a general computational fluid dynamics (CFD) code, FLUENT (FLUENT-4.3, 1996). In the Eulerianmethod, based on our previously developed code [J. Eng. Gas Turb. Power 119 (1997) 709], a computational procedure by decomposingone Eulerian solution of particulate phase into two equivalent Lagrangian solutions for incident and reflected particles has been developed.These two approaches are evaluated versus experimental data for particle–wall impaction using spray droplets. Two test cases, a 45
rampand an isolated single tube, have been studied using the above two approaches to determine the particle behavior and physical propertiesof impacting and reflected particles near wall surface. Results show that both approaches are successful in predicting the main featuresof particulate flow near wall, however, the Eulerian approach is much less expensive than the Lagrangian approach in obtaining the flowsolution of impacting particles. The particulate flow predictions using both approaches have been applied for predicting tube erosions thatare compared with reported data. Good agreement between predictions using the two approaches and between the predicted and measurederosion results are observed. © 2002 Published by Elsevier Science B.V.
Impaction; Slip boundary; Impact velocity
1. Introduction
The deposition and erosion of target metals by the im-paction of particles are found in many industrial multiphaseflow systems, such as in fluidized beds and coal-fired powerutility boilers. It has been pointed out in literature [1] thatfor the same conditions of target tube material and prop-erties of impacting particles, reduction in the momentumof the impinging particles and particle number density atimpact can greatly reduce the erosive wear of tubes. There-fore, it is important to model particle–wall impaction inconfined gas-particle flow for predicting particle erosionand deposition on the wall surface.There are two basic approaches commonly used to predictgas-particle flows: Lagrangian and Eulerian formulations.In the Lagrangian formulation, the motion of a single parti-cle is considered and relevant variables are calculated alongthe particle trajectory. One disadvantage of this approachis that it is computationally expensive for engineering ap-plications because of the great number of particles whichare required to determine the average behavior of the rela-
Corresponding author. Tel.:
61-2-93180004; fax:
 E-mail address:
clive.fletcher@unsw.edu.au (C.A.J. Fletcher).
tively high particle loading. The Lagrangian formulation,however, is a more fundamental procedure to describe theparticle–wall collision process and can yield a detailedphysical description of individual particle motion.The Eulerian formulation treats both gas and particulateflows as continua and the phases are regarded as two mu-tually interacting fluids. The main advantage of using theEulerian method is to make computation fairly economicalfor flows with relatively high concentrations of particles andfor the purpose of engineering designs, such as power boilerdesign [2]. In addition, effects of interactions, particularlyturbulence, between two phases (two-way coupling) aremore easily considered by using the Eulerian approach [3].However, some difficulties in using the Eulerian methodexist in the prediction of particle erosion and depositionbecause the Eulerian approach gives mean values of theparticulate phase over a small control volume where bothincident and reflected particles contribute to this meanvalue near wall surface. Pourahmadi and Humphrey [4] pre-dicted the erosion using the Eulerian approach with the slipboundary condition. This type of slip boundary conditionmay lead to a substantial error in the prediction of erosion.For instance, in the case of normal impaction, mean Eule-rian velocity would be 0, indicating that no erosion occurs.
0043-1648/02/$ – see front matter © 2002 Published by Elsevier Science B.V.PII: S0043-1648(01)00838-9
B.E. Lee et al./Wear 252 (2002) 179–188 
particulate concentration
diameter of cylinder
particle size
erosion rate
erosion constant
velocity exponent
Stokes number (
homologous temperature ratio
impact velocity
inlet velocity
Greek symbols
impact angle
viscosity of gas
density of the particle
chemical composition of fly-ash particlesMoreover, the slip boundary condition cannot directly givephysical properties of impacting particles including impactvelocity and angle as well as particle number at impact.In this paper, both Lagrangian and Eulerian approachesare used to model particle–wall impaction in confinedgas-particle flow. The Lagrangian method is based on a gen-eral computational fluid dynamics (CFD) code, FLUENT[5], while the Eulerian method is based on our previouslydeveloped code [2]. A new computational procedure is pro-posed for the Eulerian approach to estimate the equivalentLagrangian solutions for incident and reflected particlesnear wall surface. Thus, the particle properties, such asimpact velocity and angle, and concentration of impactingparticles, which are important parameters in the predictionof erosion and deposition, can be obtained using the presentEulerian method. The predictions using both methods arecompared with experimental data of Rudoff [6] for particle–wall impaction using spray droplets. Results from these twoapproaches for gas-particle flow over a 45
ramp and anisolated single tube are compared and show that good agree-ment is achieved. Finally, the predictions of tube erosionbased on the above particle solutions of both approachesare compared with the reported data.
2. Computational methods
2.1. Lagrangian method 
The Lagrangian method is based on a continuum modelfor gas phase and a discrete method for particulate phase.A general CFD code, FLUENT, is used for the Lagrangiansimulationofconfinedgas-particleflow.FLUENTsolvesthegoverning equations of gas flow by a finite-volume formula-tion on a non-orthogonal, curvilinear coordinate grid systemusing a collocated variable arrangement. The SIMPLECalgorithm resulting in a set of algebraic equations, which aresolved using a line-by-line tridiagonal matrix algorithm,achieves pressure/velocity coupling. An RNG-based
tur-bulence model is chosen to model gas turbulent fluctuations.A Lagrangian-formulated particle equation of motion issolved via an advanced Runge–Kutta method to predictparticle velocity and trajectories once the gas flow field isobtained. FLUENT uses a stochastic method that incor-porates the instantaneous values of gas velocity includingfluctuation components appearing in the equation of par-ticle motion. Upon striking a wall surface, a particle isforced to rebound according to the prescribed restitutioncoefficients. Particle fragmentation and/or particle rotationare not considered. By tracking a statistically significantnumber of particles, overall pictures of the mean particulateflow field can be obtained based on the concept of conser-vation. The mean velocity and concentration of incident andreflected particles near wall surface can also be estimatedfrom particle trajectories. More detailed descriptions of theLagrangian method are provided in the FLUENT user’sguide manual [5].
2.2. Eulerian method 
In the Eulerian approach, the two phases are consideredto be separate interpenetrating continua and separate (butcoupled) equations of motion with separate boundary con-ditions are solved for each phase. A previously developedcomputer code with a two-fluid model [2,7] is employed tosolve the complex confined gas-particle flow. The gas tur-bulence is modeled by an RNG-based
model [8] with amodification for confined gas-particle flow [3]. A two-layerwall function is used to avoid the need for very fine meshdistributions close to solid surfaces.The code uses a finite volume discretization in conjunc-tion with a non-staggered generalized-coordinate grid. Thegrid generation process is handled independently with thecorner point locations read in from a separate database,which can be generated by users or from a commerciallyavailable mesh generation package. The convective termsare discretized at the faces of control volumes with ageneralized QUICK convective differencing method [9].Second-order derivatives are evaluated using three-pointsymmetric formulae. A velocity potential correction [10] isintroduced to ensure that the continuity equation of the gasphase is satisfied and to upgrade the gas pressure using theSIMPLEC algorithm [11]. The stored values at the centroidsof control volumes are interpolated and modified to calculatethe flux at faces of the control volumes using the momentinterpolation method [12]. The governing equations forboth the gas and particulate phases are solved sequentiallyat each iteration to obtain all the dependent variables. Atevery global step each equation is iterated, using a stronglyimplicit procedure [13]. This iteration process is continueduntil the equation residuals are sufficiently small—typically,the mass should be conserved to be approximately 0.001%.
 B.E. Lee et al./Wear 252 (2002) 179–188 
181Fig. 1. Lagrangian simulations of particle trajectories over a cylindrical body at different Stokes numbers: (a)
0.17; (b)
1.58; (c)
4.40.Fig. 2. Lagrangian particle trajectories of a 45
ramp flow (
As noted earlier, the Eulerian description of the particu-late phase near the wall gives a mean value that containsthe information contributed from both incident and reflectedparticles. In order to decompose this Eulerian solution of the
Fig. 3. Illustration of computational domain and boundary conditions fora 45
ramp flow.
particulate phase near the wall, the following observation ismade from Lagrangian simulations as shown in Figs. 1 and2. It is found from these simulations that the informationextracted from the reflected particles from the wall surface
Fig. 4. Illustration of the experiment using spray droplets [6].

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