General Drag Coefficient for Flow over Spherical Particles

Narendra Singh, Michael D Kroells, Chenxi Li, Eric Ching, Matthias Ihme, Christopher J. Hogan, Thomas E. Schwartzentruber

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


A generalized physics-based expression for the drag coefficient of spherical particles moving in a fluid is developed. The proposed correlation incorporates essential rarefied effects, low-speed hydrodynamics, and shock-wave physics to accurately model the particle-drag force for a wide range of Mach and Knudsen numbers (and therefore Reynolds number). Owing to the basis of the derivation in physics-based scaling laws, the proposed correlation embeds gas-specific properties and has explicit dependence on the ratio of specific heat capacities. The correlation is applicable for arbitrary particle relative velocity, particle diameter, gas pressure, gas temperature, and surface temperature. Compared with existing drag models, the correlation is shown to more accurately reproduce a wide range of experimental data. Finally, the new correlation is applied to simulate particle trajectories in high-speed dusty flows, relevant to a spacecraft entering the Martian atmosphere. The enhanced surface heat flux due to particle impact is found to be sensitive to the particle drag model.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)587-597
Number of pages11
JournalAIAA journal
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work is supported by Office of Naval Research FY2020 Multi-university Research Initiative grant N00014-20-1-2682, NASA Space Technology Research Fellowships grant 80NSSC19 K1129, and NASA Early Career Faculty grant (NNX15 AU58G) from the NASA Space Technology Research Grants Program.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021, AIAA International. All rights reserved.


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