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SWINBURNE UNIVERSITY OF TECHNOLOGY

SARAWAK CAMPUS

HEC3514 Fluid and Particle Processes


Lab Report

Prepared by:
Claudia Li Chia Chirng 4304667
Joan Caroline Yong Jun Dhing 4323483
Kagendren Sivakumar 4321677
Kong Zong Yang 4304497
2 November 2015

Table of Contents
Page
Table of Contents
1.0

Experiment 1: Drag Force

1.1

Aim

1.2

Objectives

1.3

Theory

1.3.1

Viscosity and Drag Force

1.3.2

Stokes Law and Reynolds number

1.3.3

Drag coefficient, CD

1.3.4

Assumptions when analysing the experimental data

1.4

Experimental Procedure

1.5

Results

1.5.1

Experiment A: Measurement of drag coefficients

1.5.2

Experiment B: The effect of particle shape on the rate of fall

1.6

Calculations

1.6.1

Experiment A: Measurement of drag coefficients

1.6.2

Experiment B: The effect of particle shape on the rate of fall

1.7

Discussion

1.8

Conclusion

2.0

Experiment 2: Sedimentation

2.1

Theory

2.2

Objectives

2.3

Experimental Procedure

2.4

Results

2.5

Calculations and Discussion

2.5.1

Effect of Initial Height on Settling Rate

2.5.2

Effect of Particle Concentration on Settling Rate

2.6

Conclusion

References

1.0 Experiment 1: Drag Force


1.1 Aim
The aim of the two experiments that were carried out was to analyse the effect of
particle shape on the falling rates and drag coefficients.

1.2 Objectives
1. To determine the relationship of particle Reynolds number and the corresponding
drag coefficient of spheres.
2. To investigate the effect of particle shape on the rate of fall.

1.3 Theory
1.3.1 Viscosity and Drag Force
Viscosity (temperature dependant) is often referred to as the fluid property of resistance
to flow. The viscosity of liquids arises primarily due to the intermolecular forces
present within the liquid. Consider a solid sphere falling through a viscous liquid, as
illustrated below, the forces acting on the sphere are weight (W), drag force (FD) and
buoyant force (FB) respectively.
FD

FB

W
Figure 1: Schematic of the forces exerted on a solid sphere falling in a liquid in the
direction of gravity.
Drag force can be classified into two components, which are surface drag and form
drag. Surface drag comes from friction between the fluid and the surfaces over which it
is flowing. This friction is associated with the development of boundary layers, and it
scales with increase in Reynolds number. Form drag comes from the eddying motions
that are set up in the fluid by the passage of the body. This drag is associated with the
formation of a wake, and it is usually less sensitive to Reynolds number than the
frictional drag. Formally, both types of drag are due to viscosity, but the distinction is
useful because the two types of drag are due to different flow phenomena.
1.3.2 Stokes Law and Reynolds number
Stokes law relates the drag force experienced by a falling sphere to the spheres
constant velocity in a fluid of known viscosity, as shown in the equation below:

F D =3 DV
where is the fluid viscosity, V
diameter of the sphere.

is the terminal velocity and

D is the

Referring to Figure 1, since the sphere falls at terminal velocity as stated by Stokes law,
the acceleration will be zero. Hence, if we perform a balance of forces:
Fnet =ma
When a=0,
F D + F B W =0
Weight is defined as:
1
W =mg= s g D3
6
where m is the mass of sphere,
the density of sphere.

g is the gravitational acceleration, and

s is

Meanwhile, buoyant force can be defined as:


1
3
F B= f g D
6
where

is the fluid density.

Hence, substituting these values in the force balance equation above gives us:
F D =mgF B

( s f ) g D3
1
F D=
6

3
( s f ) D
1
FD=
6
where s and f

are the specific weight of the sphere and fluid respectively.

Stokes law can only be applied if the flow is smooth and non-turbulent, that is when
there is no form drag. We can determine this smoothness by calculating the Reynolds
number.
Thus, by equating both the drag force equations above, we will be able to obtain the
experimental viscosity of the fluid being tested.


( s f ) D3
1
F D =3 DV =
6
Hence,

( s f )
V
( s f ) 2 2
= R
V
9
2
D
experimental=
18
Besides that, equating the drag forces allows us to calculate the theoretical terminal
velocities of the spheres, using the measured or theoretical viscosity of the fluid.

s
(
f)
measured
D2
V theoretical =
18
Reynolds number can be calculated as follows:
=

VD

1.3.3 Drag coefficient, CD


The most satisfactory way of representing the relationship between drag force and
velocity involves the use of two non-dimensionless groups, which are Re and CD.
In theory, the drag coefficient depends on Reynolds number as shown in the plot below:

Figure 2: Standard drag curve for a motion of a sphere in a fluid

Re < 1
1 < Re < 1000
1000 < Re < 2105
Re > 2105

24

24
0.687
C D = (1+ 0.15 )

C D 0.44
C D 0.10
CD=

The graph below shows the theoretical drag coefficients vs. Reynolds number for
sphere at low Reynolds number, which was tested through this experiment.

Figure 3: CD vs. Re for sphere for low Re values (theoretical)


1.3.4 Assumptions when analysing the experimental data
The experiment was conducted and the results were analysed with some assumptions in
place, hence resulting in some deviations from theoretical readings. Firstly, the settling
of spheres were not affected by the presence of other particles in the fluid. Moreover,
the walls of the containing vessel did not exert an appreciable retarding effect, and there
were no bubbles present. Lastly, the fluid was considered to be a continuous medium,
which means the particle is large compared to the mean free path of the molecules of
the fluid. Otherwise, the particle may occasionally slip between the molecules and thus
attain a velocity higher than that calculated.

1.4 Experimental Procedure


1. The particle drag coefficient apparatus model FM102 was used to carry out
these experiments. The apparatus was filled with cooking oil in one glass tube
whereas with detergent in the other glass tube. The room temperature and the
viscosity of the fluids provided by the supplier were noted.
2. Then, a set of mild steel spheres and stainless steel spheres were weighed using
an electronic balance. Their respective diameters were also measured using
Vernier callipers. The readings were recorded and tabulated.
3. The mild steel spheres were dropped in the cooking oil one at a time. The
passage of the spheres between the one meter mark on the wall of the tubes
were timed using a stopwatch and recorded. Two runs for each sphere were
performed to obtain the average. These steps were then repeated using the
stainless steel spheres.
4

4. After that, the whole process of timing the passage of spheres was repeated with
detergent. All the readings were recorded and tabulated in Table 1 and Table 2
respectively.
5. Lastly, the effect of particle shape on the rate of fall was tested. The fluid used
was detergent. Two mild steel spheres and two streamline shapes of the same
material were chosen, and their mass and diameter were measured and recorded.
6. The passage of the spheres between the one meter mark on the wall of the tubes
were timed using a stopwatch and recorded. Two runs for each sphere were
performed to obtain the average. These steps were then repeated using the
streamlined shapes.
7. All the results were recorded and tabulated in Table 4.
8. Once the experiment was completed, the FM102 was unplugged and cleaned.

1.5 Results
1.5.1 Experiment A: Measurement of drag coefficients
Fluid Medium: Cooking Oil
Table 1: Measurement of drag coefficients of spheres in cooking oil
Object
Shape

Material

Mild
Steel
Sphere
Stainless
steel

Diameter, D
(cm)

Mass, m
(g)

Density.
s (kg/m3)

0.95
0.80
0.64
0.50
0.30
0.95
0.79
0.63
0.50
0.31

3.5285
2.0146
1.0431
0.5140
0.1296
3.4870
2.0417
1.0306
0.5143
0.1302

7859.97
7514.85
7599.54
7853.34
9167.32
7767.52
7908.83
7871.72
7857.93
8346.94

Specific
Weight,
s (N/m3)
77106.27
73720.67
74551.50
77041.28
89931.46
76199.39
77585.59
77221.61
77086.25
81883.48

Time Taken, t (s)


1

Average

Velocity
(m/s)

1.09
1.16
1.19
2.00
3.53
1.19
1.40
1.53
2.53
3.63

1.00
1.13
1.19
1.94
3.47
1.38
1.59
1.60
2.34
3.72

1.05
1.15
1.19
1.97
3.50
1.29
1.50
1.57
2.44
3.68

0.96
0.87
0.84
0.51
0.29
0.78
0.67
0.64
0.41
0.27

Viscosity
(kg/m.s)

0.122

0.135

Re

CD

68.82
52.89
40.71
19.21
6.49
50.26
35.93
27.37
13.96
5.73

0.35
0.45
0.59
1.25
3.70
0.48
0.67
0.88
1.72
4.18

Density of cooking oil, f = 920 kg/m3


Gravitational acceleration, g = 9.81 m/s2
Specific weight of cooking oil, f = 9025.2 N/m3
Average s of mild steel ball = 7999.00 kg/m3
Average s of stainless steel ball = 7950.59 kg/m3
Average s of mild steel ball = 78470.23512 N/m3
Average s of stainless steel ball = 77995.26366 N/m3
6

Viscosity of cooking oil at room temperature (24C) = 0.454 kg/m.s


Fluid Medium: Detergent
Table 2: Measurement of drag coefficients of spheres in detergent
Object
Shape

Material

Mild
Steel
Sphere
Stainless
steel

Diameter, D
(cm)

Mass, m
(g)

0.95
0.80
0.64
0.50
0.30
0.95
0.79
0.63
0.50
0.31

3.5285
2.0146
1.0431
0.5140
0.1296
3.4870
2.0417
1.0306
0.5143
0.1302

Density,
s
(kg/m3)
7859.97
7514.85
7599.54
7853.34
9167.32
7767.52
7908.83
7871.72
7857.93
8346.94

Specific
Weight,
s (N/m3)
77106.27
73720.67
74551.50
77041.28
89931.46
76199.39
77585.59
77221.61
77086.25
81883.48

Time Taken, t (s)


1
5.63
5.81
8.09
19.47
45.97
6.1
8.53
13.41
20.41
49.09

2
5.75
5.75
12.18
19.28
46.44
6.38
8.31
13.43
20.29
49.12

Average
5.69
5.78
10.14
19.38
46.21
6.24
8.42
13.42
20.35
49.11

Velocity
(m/s)
0.18
0.17
0.10
0.05
0.02
0.16
0.12
0.08
0.05
0.02

Viscosity
(kg/m.s)

1.582

1.782

Re

CD

1.08
0.89
0.41
0.17
0.04
0.87
0.54
0.27
0.14
0.04

22.29
26.89
58.94
144.21
573.19
27.55
44.70
89.34
170.70
664.34

Density of detergent, f = 1020 kg/m3


Gravitational acceleration, g = 9.81 m/s2
Specific weight of detergent, f = 10006.2 N/m3
Average s of mild steel ball = 7999.00 kg/m3
Average s of stainless steel ball = 7950.59 kg/m3
Average s of mild steel ball = 78470.23512 N/m3
Average s of stainless steel ball = 77995.26366 N/m3
Viscosity of detergent at room temperature (24C) = 1.111 kg/m.s

Plot of Drag Coefficient against Reynolds number based on Stokes Law

CD vs. Re (Mild Steel Sphere)


1000

100

Cooking Oil

CD

Detergent

10

1
0.01

0.1

10

100

0.1

Re

Figure 4: CD vs. Re plot for mild steel sphere using Stokes law

CD vs. Re (Stainless Steel Sphere)


1000

100

CD

Cooking Oil

10

Detergent

1
0.01

0.1

10

100

0.1

Re

Figure 5: CD vs. Re plot for stainless steel sphere using Stokes law
Fluid Medium: Cooking Oil
Table 3: Comparison between CD calculated using Stokes law and Intermediate
correlation
Object
Shape

Material

Mild
Steel
Sphere
Stainless
steel

Diameter, D
(cm)
0.95
0.80
0.64
0.50
0.30
0.95
0.79
0.63
0.50
0.31

Velocity
(m/s)
0.96
0.87
0.84
0.51
0.29
0.78
0.67
0.64
0.41
0.27

Viscosity
(kg/m.s)

0.122

0.135

Re
68.82
52.89
40.71
19.21
6.49
50.26
35.93
27.37
13.96
5.73

CD
Stoke's law
Intermediate
0.35
1.31
0.45
1.49
0.59
1.72
1.25
2.68
3.70
5.70
0.48
1.53
0.67
1.84
0.88
2.15
1.72
3.30
4.18
6.27

Comparison of Drag Coefficient against Reynolds number between Stokes Law and
Intermediate correlation

CD vs. Re (Mild Steel Sphere)


1000

100

CD

10

1
0.01

0.1

10

100

0.1

Re
Cooking oil (Stokes)

Detergent

Cooking oil (Intermediate)

Figure 6: Comparison of CD for mild steel sphere in cooking oil

CD vs. Re (Stainless Steel Sphere)


1000

100

CD

10

1
0.01

0.1

10

100

0.1

Re
Cooking oil (Stokes)

Detergent

Cooking oil (Intermediate)

Figure 7: Comparison of CD for stainless steel sphere in cooking oil


10

1.5.2 Experiment B: The effect of particle shape on the rate of fall


Fluid Medium: Detergent
Table 4: Effect of particle shape on the rate of fall
Shape
Sphere
(Mild steel)
Streamline

Diameter, D
(cm)
0.95
0.64
0.96
0.63

Length, L
(cm)
3.19
1.82

1
5.63
8.09
14.91
32.84

Time Taken, t (s)


2
Average
5.75
5.69
12.18
10.14
15.12
15.02
33.21
33.03

Velocity (m/s)
0.18
0.10
0.07
0.03

1.6 Calculations
1.6.1 Experiment A: Measurement of drag coefficients
Let gravitational acceleration, g = 9.81 m/s2
Specific weight of cooking oil , f =f g= ( 920 ) ( 9.81 )=9025.2 N /m 3
Specific weight of detergent , f = f g=( 1020 ) ( 9.81 )=10006.2 N /m 3
All the necessary calculations were computed using Microsoft Excel. The results were
tabulated in the Tables in the Results section. The corresponding plots were also done in
Microsoft Excel, as illustrated in the Figures in the Result section.
Sample calculation for the Mild steel sphere in cooking oil:
Firstly, the smallest sphere of the lightest material was chosen, which was the 1/8 Mild
Steel Sphere. The diameter of the sphere is 0.30cm or 0.003m.
The average density of mild steel sphere:
Average density , s=

s =7999.00 kg/m3
5

The average density of stainless steel sphere:


Average density , s=

s =7950.59 kg/m3
5

Hence,
Average specific weight of mild steel sphere , s= s g
( 7999.00 )( 9.81 )
78470.24 N /m3

11

Average specific weight of stainless steel sphere , s= s g


( 7950.59 )( 9.81 )
77995.26 N /m3
The average time taken for the sphere to travel a distance of one meter in cooking oil:
Average timetaken , T =

3.53+3.47
=3.50 s
2

Hence, the fall velocity, V:


1 m 1m
Fall velocity , V =
=
=0.29 m/s
T
3.5 s
Assuming Reynolds number, Re<1, hence the viscosity of cooking oil was calculated
using Stokes law.

( s f ) (0.003)2 (78470.249025.2)
kg
=
=0.122
V
18
m.
s
( 0.29)
2
D
cooking oil =
18
Then, the Reynolds number was calculated.
=

f VD (920)(0.29)(0.003)
=
=6.49
f
(0.122)

Eventhough the Re is not less than 1, Stokes law was used to compute the CD, despite
the value of viscosity being invalid.
CD=

24 24
=
=3.70
6.49

The same calculation process was repeated for all the other spheres, both the mild and
stainless steel spheres. The results were tabulated in Table 1.
These steps were also used to compute the values for mild and stainless steel spheres in
detergent. The results were tabulated in Table 2.
Then the CD vs. Re graph was plotted for both mild steel sphere and stainless steel
sphere separately, as illustrated in Figure 4 and 5 respectively.
Since the Reynolds number for spheres in detergent were equals to or less than 1,
hence, the assumption of Stokes law is valid. Hence the CD values calculated are valid.
However, this is not the case for cooking oil. Since the Reynolds number were
considerably larger than 1, hence assumption of Stokes law is not valid. Hence, a
separate calculation for the CD values was done using the intermediate region
correlation.

12

Sample calculation for the Mild steel sphere in cooking oil:


For the mild steel sphere of diameter, D = 0.003m;
CD=

24
( 1+0.15 0.687) = 24 ( 1+ 0.15(6.49)0.687) =5.70

(6.49)

This equation was used to compute the new CD values for all the spheres in cooking oil.
The results were tabulated in Table 3. The difference in CD values obtained using the
different correlation was compared and analysed. Then, the CD vs Re graph was plotted
for the mild steel sphere and stainless steel sphere separately, as shown in Figure 6 and
7 respectively. This plot serves as a clear comparison (with theoretical results) and
proves towards the vital dependency of the CD values on the Reynolds number.
Lastly, for the purpose of analysis, the theoretical fall velocity, or terminal velocity was
calculated in order to compare with the experimental fall velocity. A sample calculation
for mild steel sphere of diameter, D = 0.003m in cooking oil, is as follows:

( s f ) (0.003) (78470.249025.2)
=
=0.08 m/s
measured
18
(0.454 )
D2
V terminal =
18
2

This was then repeated for other spheres in both cooking oil and detergent. The results
were tabulated in the tables below.
Table 5: Experimental fall velocity vs. theoretical terminal velocity of spheres in
cooking oil
Object Shape

Material

Sphere
Mild Steel

Stainless
steel

Diameter, D (cm)

Velocity (m/s)

Terminal velocity (m/s)

0.95
0.80
0.64
0.50
0.30
0.95
0.79
0.63
0.50

0.96
0.87
0.84
0.51
0.29
0.78
0.67
0.64
0.41

0.77
0.54
0.35
0.21
0.08
0.76
0.53
0.33
0.21

13

0.31

0.27

0.08

Table 6: Experimental fall velocity vs. theoretical terminal velocity of spheres in


detergent
Object Shape

Material

Mild Steel
Sphere
Stainless
steel

Diameter, D (cm)

Velocity (m/s)

Terminal velocity (m/s)

0.95
0.80
0.64
0.50
0.30
0.95
0.79
0.63
0.50
0.31

0.18
0.17
0.10
0.05
0.02
0.16
0.12
0.07
0.05
0.02

0.31
0.22
0.14
0.09
0.03
0.31
0.21
0.13
0.08
0.03

1.6.2 Experiment B: The effect of particle shape on the rate of fall


The fluid medium chosen was detergent. Both the sphere and streamlined shape are of
the same material, which is mild steel.
Sample calculation for the streamlined shape in detergent:
The diameter of the streamlined shape is 0.63cm or 0.0063m.
The average time taken for the streamline shape to travel a distance of one meter in
detergent:
Average timetaken , T =

32.84+ 33.21
=33.03 s
2

Hence, the fall velocity, V:


1m
1m
Fall velocity , V =
=
=0.03 m/s
T
33.03 s
The same calculation process were repeated for all the other shapes, and for all the
dimensions. The results were tabulated in Table 4.
***The Excel file will be attached and submitted with the soft copy of this report for
reference.

14

1.7 Discussion
Based on the results obtained, the experimental viscosities calculated has a percentage
error ranging from 40% to 75% when compared to the measured viscosities of the
respective fluids.
Percentage error of fluid viscosity is calculated as follows:
Percentage error=

valueCalculated value
( MeasuredMeasured
) 100
value

The results are tabulated in the table below.


Table 7: Percentage error in fluid viscosity
Fluid
Cooking oil
Detergent

Sphere
Mild steel
Stainless steel
Mild steel
Stainless steel

Measured
viscosity
(kg/m.s)
0.454
1.111

Experimental
viscosity
(kg/m.s)
0.122
0.135
1.582
1.782

Percentage
error (%)
73.13
70.26
42.39
60.40

The huge deviations are mainly due to the assumptions made during calculation of the
viscosity of fluid. We assumed that the fall velocity is the terminal velocity of the
sphere. However, this is not true as the particles continued to accelerate or decelerate
even after passing through the on meter mark. This can be theoretically proven as
shown in Table 5 and 6, whereby the fall velocity obtained was not exactly close to the
theoretical terminal velocity. Hence, the accuracy of our experiment was hampered.
According to Stokes law, the sphere is assumed to be falling in an infinite ocean of
fluid. Thus, on one hand, the tube must be sufficiently long, which is not practical.
Other than that, in order to increase the accuracy, the sphere should be allowed to slow
down before being timed. For instance, start timing the passage of the sphere after 0.5
meters. This might increase the credibility of the results obtained. Moreover, repeated
drops should be performed to obtain the average. We only repeated the experiment
twice due to time constraints, which might have also affected the results of the
experiment.
Nevertheless, the results obtained managed to confirm the relationship between the
drag coefficient and the Reynolds number of particles, which is the spheres in our case.
The drag coefficient correlation is highly sensitive towards the Reynolds number. For
instance, based on our experiment, detergent managed to fall in the region of Stokes
law, whereas cooking oil did not. Despite that, the Stokes law correlation was
calculated for both fluids and the results were plotted as shown in Figure 4 and 5. The
curves, when compared to the theoretical curve as illustrated in Figure 3, shows slight
deviation for the cooking oil part when Stokes law was used to obtain CD. This was
invalid as Re>1, hence, when a corrected correlation was used, the subsequent data
obtained for cooking oil pretty much satisfied the theoretical curve. This can be clearly
seen when we compare Figure 3 with Figure 6 and 7. In short, the results were close
enough to validate Stokes law but there were some discrepancies present which caused
the readings obtained to be wide spread.
15

The discrepancies include the fluids used being impure. Moreover, the aspect of human
error greatly reduces the accuracy of the results obtained. For instance, the eye level of
the timer should be in the plane of the mark so as to minimize parallax error. Apart
from that, the irregularities in starting and stopping the stopwatch also lead to huge
errors. Besides that, since the glass tube is filled with liquid, refraction occurs, hence
distortion might be present.
Other than that, the steel balls used might also been a source of error. The irregular
shape of the sphere may cause it to travel at different velocities. We also assumed there
were no bubbles present, however in reality, there were some bubbles present.
Therefore, with such discrepancies, this explains the reason behind the huge deviation
between the theoretical and experimental results obtained.
When different shapes were tested to observe the rate of fall, the sphere travelled at a
faster speed compared to the streamlined shape. This is mainly due to the larger surface
area of the streamline shape which causes it to experience surface drag. Even though
streamline is usually associated with reduction in drag, it needs to be noted that this
condition is relevant only for fluid of low viscosity, where form drag becomes
predominant. Therefore, in short, the results validate this theory and the experiment
managed to yield the desired results, as shown in Table 4.

1.8 Conclusion
In conclusion, the results obtained in the first experiment shows that the free settling of
sphere method to measure the viscosity of cooking oil and detergent were inaccurate.
The data collected from the experiment did not verify Stokes Law, though it did show
that the revised version of Stokes Law correcting for Reynolds Number was fairly
accurate. This proves that Stokes Law is very sensitive to flow Reynolds Number, and
experiments must account for this. Improvements in this experiment can be made to
obtain more precise data for the calculation of the Stokes Law drag coefficient by
eliminating the human factor in measuring velocity, plus using optical sensors
connected to a computer to calculate the time of travel and velocity of the spheres.
Even though there were huge errors present, the results were satisfactory. Meanwhile,
for the second experiment, in conclusion, the shape of the particle does affect the rate of
falling, depending on the viscosity of the fluid. The results obtained were quite accurate
and desirable. In short, the objectives set for these experiments were achieved.

16

2.0 Experiment 2: Sedimentation


2.1 Theory
The figure below shows a batch sedimentation process where the solid is uniformly
distributed in the liquid at the beginning and the total depth of the suspension is Zo.
After some time, the solid will settle to give a zone of clear liquid, zone A and zone D
as in Figure 8b. On top of zone D is zone C where the solid content varies from that in
the original pulp to that in zone D, normally known as transition layers. In Zone B, the
concentration is uniform and equal to the original concentration as the settling rate is
the same throughout this zone.
As the settling continues, the depths of zone A and D increases while the zone C
remains nearly constant and zone B decreases as shown in Figure 8c. In the end, zone B
will disappears and the solid are all in zones C and D as shown in figure 8d.
Meanwhile, the gradual accumulation of solid puts stress on the material at the bottom,
which compresses solids in the layer D. Finally, when the weight of the solid is
balanced by the compressive strength of the flocs, the settling process stops as shown in
Figure 8e. This entire process is known as sedimentation.

Figure 8: Sedimentation process

2.2 Objectives

To investigate the effect of initial column height on the settling rate


17

To determine the effect of particle concentration on settling rate

2.3 Experimental Procedure


1. The SOLTEQ Sedimentation Studies Apparatus which consists of five equal
sized glass cylinders mounted on a vertical back-panel was used in this
experiment.
2. The glass cylinders were cleaned and the back light illumination was switched
on.
3. Four different sets of kaolin mesh 60 were prepared and mixed with water in a
beaker according to the specifications in Table 7 in the next section. The
suspension was then inserted into the respective cylinders in order to make up to
the stated height of suspension.
4. It was ensured that the mixture of kaolin and water was stirred thoroughly to
form a uniformly distributed solution.
5. The stopwatch was started and the initial height of suspension was observed and
recorded.
6. The readings for the height of interface were taken at one-minute intervals until
at least three consecutive results were obtained. The reading of the height of
interface was taken from the base of the column.
7. The results were tabulated as shown in Table 8 below. Graphs of height of
interface versus time were then plotted.

2.4 Results
Table 7 shows the specifications of the amount of kaolin and water inserted into the
cylinders.
Table 7: Specifications of kaolin and water in cylinders
Mass of kaolin powder (g)
Volume of water (L)
Initial height of suspension (cm)
Initial concentration (g/L)

Cylinder 1
28.26
0.57
30
49.58

Cylinder 2
56.57
1.13
60
50.06

Cylinder 3
84.86
1.70
90
49.92

Cylinder 4
127.29
1.70
90
74.88

The experimental results are as shown in Table 8.


Table 8: Experimental results for sedimentation experiment
Time (min)
0
1
2

Cylinder 1
29.0
26.5
23.5

Height of interface (cm)


Cylinder 2
Cylinder 3
56.5
90.0
54.2
87.9
51.5
85.2

Cylinder 4
90.0
88.5
85.0
18

3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
21
22
23
24
25
26
27
28
29
30
31
32
33
34
35
36
37
38
39
40
41
42
43
44
45
46
47
48

20.5
17.3
14.3
11.3
8.6
6.4
5.8
5.2
4.8
4.4
4.0
3.7
3.5
3.4
3.3
3.2
3.2
3.1
3.0
3.0
3.0
3.0

49.0
46.0
43.5
40.5
37.8
35.2
32.4
29.5
27.0
24.3
21.5
18.7
16.0
13.5
11.5
11.0
10.5
10.1
9.7
9.3
8.9
8.5
8.2
7.8
7.5
7.0
6.7
6.5
6.4
6.3
6.1
6.0
6.0
6.0

82.5
80.0
77.5
75.0
72.0
69.6
66.9
64.1
61.5
58.7
55.8
52.8
50.3
47.5
43.5
41.2
39.4
36.6
34.0
31.0
28.6
25.9
23.0
20.5
18.9
18.3
17.7
17.2
16.7
16.3
15.9
15.5
15.1
14.7
14.4
14.0
13.7
13.3
13.0
12.5
12.3
12.0
11.7
11.4
11.1
10.8

83.6
81.8
79.9
77.8
76.0
74.1
72.2
70.3
68.4
66.5
64.5
62.5
60.6
58.7
56.8
54.9
53.0
51.0
49.2
47.4
45.5
43.8
42.0
40.0
38.5
37.0
35.5
34.3
33.1
32.2
31.4
30.6
30.0
29.4
28.8
28.4
27.8
27.3
26.9
26.4
25.8
25.5
25.0
24.7
24.2
23.9
19

49
50
51
52
53
54
55
56
57
58
59
60
61
62
63
64
65
66
67
68
69
70
71
72
73
74
75
76
77
78
79
80
81
82
83
84
85
86
87
88
89
90
91
92
93
94

10.5
10.3
10.0
9.8
9.6
9.4
9.3
9.2
9.1
9.0
9.0
8.9
8.9
8.8
8.7
8.7
8.6
8.5
8.5
8.5

23.4
23.0
22.7
22.3
21.9
21.5
21.2
20.9
20.5
20.2
19.9
19.5
19.2
18.9
18.5
18.3
18.0
17.8
17.4
17.0
16.8
16.5
16.2
16.0
15.7
15.5
15.2
15.0
14.8
14.5
14.3
14.0
13.8
13.6
13.3
13.0
12.8
12.7
12.5
12.4
12.3
12.2
12.1
12.0
12.0
11.9
20

95
96
97
98
99
100
101
102
103
104
105

11.8
11.7
11.6
11.6
11.5
11.4
11.4
11.3
11.2
11.2
11.2

2.5 Calculations and Discussion


2.5.1 Effect of Initial Height on Settling Rate
The suspensions in Cylinders 1, 2, and 3 were used in the analysis of the effect of
column height on the settling rate. The initial concentrations were assumed to be
constant at 50 g/L. Figure 9 shows the graph of interface height versus time.

Effect of Initial Height on Settling Rate


100.0
90.0
80.0
70.0
60.0
Interface Height (cm)

50.0
40.0
30.0
20.0
10.0
0.0
0

10

20

30

40

50

60

Time (min)
Cylinder 1

Cylinder 2

Cylinder 3

Figure 9: Graph of interface height from bottom of column versus time for suspensions
of different initial heights
Based on the graph, the initial settling rates were calculated based on the initial linear
slope obtained and the results were tabulated in Table 9. The time taken for the latter
stages of settling is also noted based on the graph.
21

70

Table 9: Analysis of the effect of column height on the settling rate


Cylinder

Initial height (cm)

Initial settling
velocity (cm/s)

30

2.95

60

2.7

90

2.68

Final stage
of settling
From 7th to
21st minute
From 16th to
37th minute
From 26th to
69th minute

Time taken (min)


15
22
43

The negative sign is omitted from the initial settling velocity which was calculated from
the slope of the curve as it is understood the settling occurs in the downwards direction.
It can be seen that the initial settling velocity has remained almost constant for all three
cylinders. This shows that the initial height of column has no effect on the initial
settling rate.
However, it can be observed that the time taken for the final stages of settling increases
as the initial height of column increases. This is due to the compressive forces from the
water on top as well as the accumulation of kaolin particles at the bottom which force
the trapped water out from between the particles collected at the bottom. As the ratio of
the weight of water to the weight of particles is high, most of the compressive forces
originate from the water. As such, the settling times for the final parts of sedimentation
increased as the amount of water used increased.
2.5.2 Effect of Particle Concentration on Settling Rate
The suspensions in Cylinders 3 and 4 were used in the analysis of the effect of
concentration on the settling rate. The initial heights of both suspensions were constant
at 90 cm. Figure 10 shows the graph of interface height versus time.

22

Effect of Concentration on Settling Rate


100.0
90.0
80.0
70.0
60.0
50.0
Interface Height (cm)
40.0
30.0
20.0
10.0
0.0
0

20

40

60

80

100

120

Time (min)
Cylinder 3

Cylinder 4

Figure 10: Graph of interface height from bottom of column versus time for
suspensions of different concentrations
As in the previous section, the initial settling rates were calculated based on the initial
linear slope obtained in the graph and the results were tabulated in Table 10. The time
taken for the latter stages of settling is also noted based on the graph.
Table 10: Analysis of the effect of concentration on the settling rate
Cylinde
r

Initial concentration
(g/L)

Initial settling
velocity
(cm/s)

49.92

2.68

74.88

1.89

Final stage
of settling
From 26th to
69th minute
From 29th to
102nd
minute

Time taken
(min)
43
74

It can be observed that the initial settling velocity decreases as the initial concentration
of the suspension increases. This is in line with the general assumption whereby the
decrease of the settling velocity is due to the generation of an upward flux of fluid in
compensation of the downward flux of fluid generated by the settling of particles. This
generated upward fluid flux is believed to lead to the net reduction of the average
settling velocity (Doychev 2014).
Besides that, it can be said that the time taken for the final stages of settling increases as
the initial concentration of particles increases. In this case, the volume of water used is
the same. Therefore, the compressive forces in this case originated from the settling
particles. The collected particles exerted stress on the bottom layers which led to the
expulsion of water and gradually lowered the height of the interface. The higher the
23

concentration, the longer the time taken for the final settling stage. This was because
the compressive forces were exerted gradually.
Slight inaccuracy might have occurred as some of the kaolin particles might have been
left in the beaker during the pouring process. The experiment might have been repeated
to obtain more readings in order to improve accuracy and to further justify the theory.

2.6 Conclusion
To conclude, it can be seen that the initial height of the column has no effect on the
initial settling rate and as the initial concentration of the suspension increases, the initial
settling velocity would decrease. In addition to that, it was observed that an increase in
either initial height of the column or the initial concentration would increase the time
taken for the final stages of settling. The objectives of this experiment was said to be
achieved.

References
Doychev, T 2014, The Dynamics of Finite-Size Settling Particles, KIT Scientific Publishing,
Karlsruhe, Germany.
Rhodes, M 2008, Introduction to particle technology, Wiley, London.

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