Effects of shear thinning on migration of neutrally buoyant particles in pressure driven flow of Newtonian and viscoelastic fluids

P. Y. Huang & D. D. Joseph

January 1999

ABSTRACT: The pattern of cross stream migration of neutrally buoyant particles in a pressure driven flow depends strongly on the properties of the suspending fluid. These migration effects have been studied by direct numerical simulation. Shear thinning has a large effect when the inertia or elasticity is large, but only a small effect when they are small. At moderate Reynolds numbers, shear thinning causes particles to migrate away from the centerline, creating a particle-free zone in the core of the channel, which increases with the amount of shear thinning. In a viscoelastic fluid with shear thinning, particles migrate either toward the centerline or toward the walls, creating an annular particle-free zone at intermediate radii. The simulations also give rise to precise determination of slip velocity distributions in the various cases studied.

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