Accounting for finite-size effects in simulations of disperse particle-laden flows

S. V. Apte, K. Mahesh, T. Lundgren

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67 Scopus citations


A numerical formulation for Eulerian-Lagrangian simulations of particle-laden flows in complex geometries is developed. The formulation accounts for the finite-size of the dispersed phase. Similar to the commonly used point-particle formulation, the dispersed particles are treated as point-sources, and the forces acting on the particles are modeled through drag and lift correlations. In addition to the inter-phase momentum exchange, the presence of particles affects the fluid phase continuity and momentum equations through the displaced fluid volume. Three flow configurations are considered in order to study the effect of finite particle size on the overall flowfield: (a) gravitational settling, (b) fluidization by a gaseous jet, and (c) fluidization by lift in a channel. The finite-size formulation is compared to point-particle representations, which do not account for the effect of finite-size. It is shown that the fluid displaced by the particles plays an important role in predicting the correct behavior of particle motion. The results suggest that the standard point-particle approach should be modified to account for finite particle size, in simulations of particle-laden flows.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)260-271
Number of pages12
JournalInternational Journal of Multiphase Flow
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2008

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by the Department of Energy’s Advanced Scientific Computing Program. SVA also acknowledges support from Office of Naval Research under the grant number N000140610697 supervised by Dr. Ki-Han Kim. A major part of this work was performed when SVA was in residence at Stanford University.


  • Particle-fluid interactions
  • Particle-laden flows
  • Point-particles


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