Influence of Concentration on Sedimentation of a Dense Suspension in a Viscous Fluid

Tariq Shajahan, Wim Paul Breugem*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)
63 Downloads (Pure)


Macroscopic properties of sedimenting suspensions have been studied extensively and can be characterized using the Galileo number (Ga), solid-to-fluid density ratio (πp) and mean solid volume concentration (ϕ¯). However, the particle–particle and particle–fluid interactions that dictate these macroscopic trends have been challenging to study. We examine the effect of concentration on the structure and dynamics of sedimenting suspensions by performing direct numerical simulation based on an Immersed Boundary Method of monodisperse sedimenting suspensions of spherical particles at fixed Ga= 144 , πp= 1.5 , and concentrations ranging from ϕ¯ = 0.5 to ϕ¯ = 30 %. The corresponding particle terminal Reynolds number for a single settling particle is ReT= 186. Our simulations reproduce the macroscopic trends observed in experiments and are in good agreement with semi-empirical correlations in literature. From our studies, we observe, first, a change in trend in the mean settling velocities, the dispersive time scales and the structural arrangement of particles in the sedimenting suspension at different concentrations, indicating a gradual transition from a dilute regime (ϕ¯ ≲ 2 %) to a dense regime (ϕ¯ ≳ 10 %). Second, we observe the vertical propagation of kinematic waves as fluctuations in the local horizontally-averaged concentration of the sedimenting suspension in the dense regime.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)537-554
JournalFlow, Turbulence and Combustion
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2020


  • Dense suspension
  • Immersed boundary method
  • Kinematic waves
  • Sedimentation

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