Simple shear flows of dense gas-solid suspensions at finite Stokes numbers

Ashok S. Sangani, Guobiao Mo, Heng Kwong Tsao, Donald L. Koch

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118 Scopus citations


We examine the problem of determining the particle-phase velocity variance and rheology of sheared gas-solid suspensions at small Reynolds numbers and finite Stokes numbers. Our numerical simulations take into account the Stokes flow interactions among particles except for pairs of particles with a minimum gap width comparable to or smaller than the mean free path of the gas molecules for which the usual lubrication approximation breaks down and particle collisions occur in a finite time. The simulation results are compared to the predictions of two theories. The first is an asymptotic theory for large Stokes number St and nearly elastic collisions, i.e. St ≫ 1 and 0 ≤ 1 - e ≪ 1, e being the coefficient of restitution. In this limit, the particle velocity distribution is close to an isotropic Maxwellian and the velocity variance is determined by equating the energy input in shearing the suspension to the energy dissipation by inelastic collisions and viscous effects. The latter are estimated by solving the Stokes equations of motion in suspensions with the hard-sphere equilibrium spatial and velocity distribution while the shear energy input and energy dissipation by inelastic effects are estimated using the standard granular flow theory (i.e. St = ∞). The second is an approximate theory based on Grad's moments method for which St and 1 - e are Ο(1). The two theories agree well with each other at higher values of volume fraction ø of particles over a surprisingly large range of values of St. For smaller ø, however, the two theories deviate significantly except at sufficiently large St. A detailed comparison shows that the predictions of the approximate theory based on Grad's method are in excellent agreement with the results of numerical simulations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)309-341
Number of pages33
JournalJournal of Fluid Mechanics
StatePublished - Apr 25 1996

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Applied Mathematics


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