Particle Levitation Due to a Uniformly Descending Flat Object

H. Ezzat Khalifa, Basman Elhadidi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

35 Scopus citations


This article presents analytical and computational fluid-dynamics (CFD) solutions of the unsteady flow resulting from a horizontal circular disk moving downward at a constant velocity toward a horizontal floor seeded with spherical micro-particles, and the effect of this flow on particle detachment and levitation. The selected configuration is a simplification of numerous practical applications in which particle resuspension is important, for example a foot or an object impacting a dusty floor, or a squeeze film thrust bearing with particle contamination. The resulting radial and axial velocity field, coupled with a particle detachment model and the particle equations of motion were employed to compute particle trajectories in the gap. The CFD solutions were utilized to describe the high-speed radial wall jet and the vortices developing outside the disk and to explain their role in particle levitation and entrainment. It is shown that as the gap narrows the resulting radial velocity close to the disk perimeter is high enough to detach and levitate μ m-size particles, and that the vortices shed by the descending disk and its high-velocity radial wall jet create an upward convective motion that contributes to particle resuspension from the floor and entrainment in any far-field flow that might be present around the descending disk.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)33-42
Number of pages10
JournalAerosol Science and Technology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 1 2007

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Chemistry
  • General Materials Science
  • Pollution


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