Mesoscopic dispersion of colloidal agglomerate in a complex fluid modelled by a hybrid fluid-particle model

Witold Dzwinel, David A. Yuen

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18 Scopus citations


The dispersion of the agglomerating fluid process involving colloids has been investigated at the mesoscale level by a discrete particle approach - the hybrid fluid-particle model (FPM). Dynamical processes occurring in the granulation of colloidal agglomerate in solvents are severely influenced by coupling between the dispersed microstructures and the global flow. On the mesoscale this coupling is further exacerbated by thermal fluctuations, particle-particle interactions between colloidal beds, and hydrodynamic interactions between colloidal beds and the solvent. Using the method of FPM, we have tackled the problem of dispersion of a colloidal slab being accelerated in a long box filled with a fluid. Our results show that the average size of the agglomerated fragments decreases with increasing shearing rate Γ, according to the power law A·Γk, where k is around 2. For larger values of Γ, the mean size of the agglomerate Savg increases slowly with Γ from the collisions between the aggregates and the longitudinal stretching induced by the flow. The proportionality constant A increases exponentially with the scaling factor of the attractive forces acting between the colloidal particles. The value of A shows a rather weak dependence on the solvent viscosity. But A increases proportionally with the scaling factor of the colloid-solvent dissipative interactions. Similar type of dependence can be found for the mixing induced by Rayleigh-Taylor instabilities involving the colloidal agglomerate and the solvent. Three types of fragmentation structures can be identified, which are called rupture, erosion, and shatter. They generate very complex structures with multiresolution character. The aggregation of colloidal beds is formed by the collisions between aggregates, which are influenced by the flow or by the cohesive forces for small dispersion energies. These results may be applied to enhance our understanding concerning the nonlinear complex interaction occurring in mesoscopic flows such as blood flow in small vessels.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)463-480
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Colloid And Interface Science
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2002

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We thank Dr. Dan Kroll (MSI) for useful discussions. Support for this work was provided by the Energy Research Laboratory Technology Research Program of the Off ce of Energy Research of the U.S. Department of Energy under subcontract from the Pacif c Northwest National Laboratory and partly by the Polish Committee for Scientif c Research (KBN).


  • Agglomeration
  • Colloidal agglomerates
  • Fragmentation
  • Hybrid fluid-particle model
  • Mesoscopic flow


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