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Lesson 5

Chapter 2: Single Particles in a Fluid

Introduction

This chapter deals with the motion of single solid particles in

fluid.

Objectives of this lesson

Derivation of Stokes Law

Determination of terminal velocity in different regions of a fluid

Calculating the particle diameter, and C

D

using the particle force

balance

2.1. Motion of Solid Particles in a Fluid

The drag force resisting very slow steady relative motion

(creeping motion) between a rigid sphere of diameter x and a

fluid of infinite extent, of viscosity is composed of two

components (Stokes, 1851):

a pressure drag force,

a shear stress drag force,

Total drag force resisting motion,

where U is the relative velocity. This is called Stokes Law.

U x F

p

t =

U x F

s

t 2 =

U x F

D

t 3 =

(1)

(2)

(3)

Single particle Reynolds number is defined as:

A drag coefficient, C

D

is defined as:

where R is the force per unit projected area of the particle.

Thus for a sphere:

f

p

xU

= Re

( )

2

2

1

'

U

R

C

f

D

=

4

'

2

x

F

R

D

t

=

(4)

(5)

(6)

and Stokes law, in terms of this drag coefficient, becomes:

At higher relative velocities, the inertia of the fluid begins to

dominate (the fluid must accelerate out of the way of the

particle).

Analytical solution of the Navier-Stokes equation is not

possible under these conditions.

Experiments give the relationship between the drag coefficient

and the particle Reynolds number in the form of the so-called

standard drag curve.

p

D

C

Re

24

= (7)

From the standard drag curve four regions are identified:

Stokes law region;

Newtons law region in which drag coefficient is independent of Reynolds

number;

Intermediate region between the Stokes and Newton regions; and

Boundary layer separation region.

Several correlations have been tried/proposed for CD over the

entire range; the one presented below is that of Haider and

Levenspiel (1989), which is claimed to fit the data with a root

mean square deviation of 0.024.

(8)

2.2. Particles Falling under Gravity Through a Fluid

The relative motion under gravity of particles in a fluid is of

particular interest. In general three forces act on the particle:

Gravity

Bouyancy

Drag

Motion

Buoyancy

Drag

Gravity

A particle falling from rest in a fluid will initially experience a high

acceleration as the shear stress drag, which increases with

relative velocity, will be small.

As the particle accelerates the drag force increases, causing

acceleration to reduce.

Eventually a force balance is achieved when the acceleration is

zero and a maximum or terminal relative velocity is reached.

This phenomenon is known as the single particle terminal

velocity.

Force balance:

gravity bouyancy drag = acceleration force (9)

All forces reduce to Newton basic equation, F = ma.

Forces either cause particle motion in a fluid or resist it.

Since particles are small enough to weigh, particles diameter is

used to determine volume and mass of particles

For a spherical particle:

However, a particle will experience an upward force in accordance

with Archimedes principle,

(10)

(11)

g x

mg F

p

3

6

1

t =

=

g

x

Vg

mg F

f

f

6

3

t

=

=

=

Therefore, substituting equations (6), (10) and (11) into equation

(9):

Combining equation (12) with equation (5):

Where U

T

is the single particle terminal velocity. Equation (13)

gives the following expression for drag coefficient under terminal

velocity conditions:

(12)

(13)

0

4

'

6 6

2 3 3

=

x

R g

x

g

x

f p

t

t

( ) 0

4 2

1

6

2

2

3

=

x

U C g

x

T f D f p

t

t

( )

(

(

=

f

f p

T

D

U

gx

C

2

3

4

(14)

Thus in the Stokes law region, with , the single particle

terminal velocity is given by:

Note that in the Stokes law region the terminal velocity is

proportional to the square root of the particle diameter

p

D

C

Re

24

=

( )

18

2

g x

U

f p

T

=

(15)

2

x U

T

o

In the Newtons law region, with , the terminal velocity is

given by:

Note that in this region the terminal velocity is independent of the

fluid viscosity and proportional to the square root of the particle

diameter, that is:

In the intermediate region no explicit expression for U

T

can be

found.

44 . 0 =

D

C

(16)

( )

2

1

74 . 1

(

(

=

f

f p

T

g x

U

x U

T

o

Generally, when calculating the terminal velocity for a given

particle or the particle diameter for a given velocity, it is not

known which region of operation is relevant.

One way around this is to formulate the dimensionless groups

and :

To calculate U

T

, for a given size x. Calculate the group

which is independent of U

T

In terms of Archimedes number

For a given particle and fluid properties, is a constant and will therefore

produce a straight line of slope -2 if plotted on logarithmic coordinates (log C

D

vs

log Re

p

) of the standard drag curve.

(17)

2

Re

p D

C

p

D

C

Re

( )

2

3

2

3

4

Re

g x

C

f p f

p D

=

Ar C

p D

3

4

Re

2

=

2

Re

p D

C

The intersection of this straight line with the drag curve gives the value of Re

p

and

hence U

T

.

To calculate x, for a given U

T

. Calculate the group

which is independent of x

For a given terminal velocity, particle density and fluid properties, is a

constant and will produce a straight line of slope +1 if plotted on the logarithmic

coordinates of the standard drag curve.

The intersection of this straight line with the drag curve gives the value of Re

p

and

hence x.

(18)

( )

2 3

3

4

Re

f T

f p

p

D

U

g

C

=

p

D

C

Re

2.2. Non-spherical Particles

For non-spherical particles the particle Reynolds number is

based on the equal-volume sphere diameter, i.e. The diameter

of the sphere having the same volume as that of the particle.

Figure 2.3 above shows drag curves of particles of different

sphericities. This covers regular (sphere) and irregular particles.

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