Direct numerical simulation of the motion of particles in rotating pipe flow

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Abstract

In this paper the motion of particles in rotating pipe flow is studied for various flow cases by means of direct numerical simulation. Compared to flow in a non-rotating pipe, the Navier-Stokes equation contains as only extra term the Coriolis force when the equation is considered in a rotating frame of reference. Particles in the flow also experience a centrifugal force, which drives them to one side of the wall of the pipe. The flow is characterized by two Reynolds numbers for the mean axial velocity and the rotation rate, respectively. Among the cases studied are one in which the flow without rotation would be laminar and rotation leads to turbulence and another one for which Poiseuille flow is unstable but instead of transition to a turbulent state, a time-dependent laminar flow results. In all cases studied a counter-rotating vortex is present. The simulation results are used to calculate the collection efficiency of the rotational phase separator (RPS) under turbulent flow conditions. The RPS is a device to separate liquid or solid particles from a lighter or heavier fluid by means of centrifugation in a bundle of channels which rotate around a common axis. The results show that, compared to Poiseuille flow, the collection efficiency for larger particles decreases due to the combined action of the vortex and turbulent velocity fluctuations, while it is unchanged for smaller particles
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-17
JournalJournal of Turbulence
Volume9
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2008

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