Clustering instabilities in sedimenting fluid–solid systems: critical assessment of kinetic-theory-based predictions using direct numerical simulation data Journal Article uri icon



  • In this work the quantitative and qualitative ability of a kinetic-theory-based two-fluid model (KT-TFM) is assessed in a state of fully periodic sedimentation (fluidization), with a focus on statistically steady, unstable (clustered) states. The accuracy of KT-TFM predictions is evaluated via direct comparison to direct numerical simulation (DNS) data. The KT-TFM and DNS results span a rather wide parameter space: mean-flow Reynolds numbers on the order of 1 and 10, mean solid volume fractions from 0.1 to 0.4, solid-to-fluid density ratios from 10 to 1000 and elastic and moderately inelastic (restitution coefficient of 0.9) conditions. Data from both KT-TFM and DNS display a rich variety of statistically steady yet unstable structures (clusters). Instantaneous snapshots of KT-TFM and DNS demonstrate remarkable qualitative agreement. This qualitative agreement is quantified by calculating the critical density ratio at which the structure transitions from a chaotic, dynamic state to a regular, plug-flow state, with good overall comparisons. Further quantitative assessments of mean and fluctuating velocities show good agreement at high density ratios but weaker agreement at intermediate to low density ratios depending on the mean-flow Reynolds numbers and solid fractions. Deviations of the KT-TFM results from the DNS data were traced to a breakdown in one of the underlying assumptions of the kinetic theory derivation: high thermal Stokes number. Surprisingly, however, even though the low Knudsen number assumption, also associated with the kinetic theory derivation, is violated throughout most of the parameter space, it does not seem to affect the good quantitative accuracy of KT-TFM simulations.

publication date

  • July 25, 2017

Full Author List

  • Fullmer WD; Liu G; Yin X; Hrenya CM

Other Profiles

Additional Document Info

start page

  • 433

end page

  • 469


  • 823