Mechanisms for drawdown of floating particles in a laminar stirred tank flow
Particle image velocimetry (PIV) experiments on a laminar stirred tank flow with floating particles at just drawdown conditions were performed. Careful refractive index matching of the two phases allowed to resolve the flow around the particles. The maximum solids volume fraction was 4%. The impeller was a pitched blade turbine with upward and downward pumping modes and with different off-bottom clearances, and the impeller-based Reynolds number ranged from about 50 to 120. Computational fluid dynamics (CFD) coupled to a discrete phase model (DPM) and discrete element method (DEM) was used to predict the flow field, with an emphasis on the tangential velocity component. The liquid velocity profiles predicted by the CFD simulations are in good agreement with the PIV experimental data. The drawdown process and local particle accumulation simulated by the DPM-DEM model agrees with the experimental phenomena as well. Tangential velocity and particles collisions around the shaft trigger the onset of the drawdown of the floating particles.
Keywords: Drawdown, Floating particles, Particle image velocimetry, Refractive index matching, Stirred tank,