Fluidization of 1204 spheres: simulation and experiment

T.-W. Pan, D.D. Joseph, R. Bai, R. Glowinski1, V. Sarin


In this paper we study the fluidization of 1204 spheres at Reynolds numbers in the thousands using the method of distributed Lagrange multipliers. The results of the simulation are compared with a real experiment. This is the first direct numerical simulation of a real fluidized bed at the finite Reynolds number encountered in the applications. The simulations are processed like real experiments for straight lines in lot-log plots leading to power laws as in celebrated correlations of Richardson and Zaki [1954]. The numerical method allows for the first ever direct calculation of the slip velocity and other averaged values used in two-fluid continuum models. The computation and the experiment show that a single particle may be in balance under weight and drag for an interval of fluidizing velocities; the expectation that the fluidizing velocity is unique is not realized. The numerical method reveals that the dynamic pressure actually decreases slowly with the fluidizing velocity. Tentative interpretations of these new results are discussed.

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Last Modified: Monday, 10-Dec-2001 10:02:26 CST