The Influence of the Wall on Flow Through Pipes Packed With Spheres

[+] Author and Article Information
R. M. Fand, R. Thinakaran

Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Hawaii at Manoa, Honolulu, Hawaii 96822

J. Fluids Eng 112(1), 84-88 (Mar 01, 1990) (5 pages) doi:10.1115/1.2909373 History: Received November 09, 1988; Online May 23, 2008


This paper presents the results of an experimental investigation that is a sequel to a previously published study of the flow of fluids through porous media whose matrices are composed of randomly packed spheres. The objective of the previous study was to accurately determine the ranges of the Reynolds number for which Darcy, Forchheimer and turbulent flow occur, and also the values of the controlling flow parameters—namely, the Kozeny-Carman constant for Darcy flow and the Ergun constants for Forchheimer and turbulent flow—for porous beds that are infinite in extent; that is, practically speaking, for sufficiently large values of the dimension ratio, D/d, where D is a measure of the extent of the bed and d is the diameter of a single spherical particle of which the porous matrix is composed. The porous media studied in the previous and present experiments were confined within circular cylinders (pipes), for which the dimension D is taken to be the diameter of the confining cylinder. The previous study showed that the flow parameters are substantially independent of the dimension ration for D/d ≥ 40. For D/d < 40, the so-called “wall effect” becomes significant, and the flow parameters become functionally dependent upon this ratio. The present paper presents simple empirical equations that express the porosity and the flow parameters as functions of D/d for 1.4 ≤ D/d < 40. Transitions from one type to another were found to be independent of D/d and occur at values of the Reynolds number identical to those reported in the previous study.

Copyright © 1990 by The American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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