Inclusion of DLVO forces in simulations of non-Brownian solid suspensions: Rheology and structure

Sudharsan Srinivasan*, Harry E.A. Van den Akker, Orest Shardt

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)
2 Downloads (Pure)


The understanding of the rheological behaviour of suspensions in aqueous electrolytes is necessary for the optimal design of hydraulic transport lines. In these applications, particle size is at least 10 micron, and the particle Reynolds number, Rep, is finite: O(10−1). Although there are some experimental and numerical data on the rheology of such suspensions, the number of detailed analyses is limited. Therefore, 3-D direct numerical simulations of dense suspensions in aqueous electrolytes are conducted to assess the dynamics of the relative apparent viscosity and particle structures. The solid–liquid interfaces are resolved, and the flow is simulated, employing an in-house immersed boundary-lattice Boltzmann method code. In addition to the hydrodynamics resolved in the computational grid, our simulations include unresolved sub-grid scale lubrication corrections and non-contact electric double layer (EDL) and Van der Waals forces for a wide range of particle volume fractions, ϕv, at a single Rep=0.1. Under these conditions, the contribution of the Van der Waals force was found to be weak. With an increase in ϕv, the effect of EDL forces decreased the relative apparent viscosity. Particle layering and structural arrangements were analysed for ϕv=43 and 52%. As the Debye length (i.e., the thickness of EDL) decreases, the particle layers near the walls weakened. The analyses reveal how at these high volume fractions, chain-like assemblies are transformed into hexagonal arrangements.

Original languageEnglish
Article number103929
Number of pages15
JournalInternational Journal of Multiphase Flow
Publication statusPublished - 2022

Bibliographical note

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  • Aqueous electrolyte
  • DLVO forces
  • Immersed boundary-Lattice Boltzmann method
  • Lubrication corrections
  • Rheology
  • Suspensions


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