Confined flow of suspensions modelled by a frictional rheology

We investigate in detail the problem of confined pressure-driven laminar flow of neutrally buoyant non-Brownian suspensions using a frictional rheology based on the recent proposal of Boyer et al. (Phys. Rev. Lett., vol. 107 (18), 2011, 188301). The friction coefficient (shear stress over particle normal stress) and solid volume fraction are taken as functions of the dimensionless viscous number I defined as the ratio between the fluid shear stress and the particle normal stress. We clarify the contributions of the contact and hydrodynamic interactions on the evolution of the friction coefficient between the dilute and dense regimes reducing the phenomenological constitutive description to three physical parameters. We also propose an extension of this constitutive framework from the flowing regime (bounded by the maximum flowing solid volume fraction) to the fully jammed state (the random close packing limit). We obtain an analytical solution of the fully developed flow in channel and pipe for the frictional suspension rheology. The result can be transposed to dry granular flow upon appropriate redefinition of the dimensionless number I. The predictions are in excellent agreement with available experimental results for neutrally buoyant suspensions, when using the values of the constitutive parameters obtained independently from stress-controlled rheological measurements. In particular, the frictional rheology correctly predicts the transition from Poiseuille to plug flow and the associated particles migration with the increase of the entrance solid volume fraction. We also numerically solve for the axial development of the flow from the inlet of the channel/pipe toward the fully developed state. The available experimental data are in good agreement with our numerical predictions, when using an accepted phenomenological description of the relative phase slip obtained independently from batch-settlement experiments. The solution of the axial development of the flow notably provides a quantitative estimation of the entrance length effect in a pipe for suspensions when the continuum assumption is valid. Practically, the latter requires that the predicted width of the central (jammed) plug is wider than one particle diameter. A simple analytical expression for development length, inversely proportional to the gap-averaged diffusivity of a frictional suspension, is shown to encapsulate the numerical solution in the entire range of flow conditions from dilute to dense. © Cambridge University Press 2014.

Published in:
Journal of Fluid Mechanics, 759, 197-235

 Record created 2015-09-15, last modified 2018-03-17

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