Numerical Simulation of Concentrated Emulsion Flows

[+] Author and Article Information
Michael Loewenberg

Department of Chemical Engineering, Yale University, New Haven, CT 06520-8286

J. Fluids Eng 120(4), 824-832 (Dec 01, 1998) (9 pages) doi:10.1115/1.2820744 History: Received October 29, 1997; Revised August 10, 1998; Online December 04, 2007


The macroscopic flow and detailed microphysics of a concentrated emulsion are described with three-dimensional numerical simulations. Numerical predictions for deformable drop interactions in shear-flow are in very close agreement to direct microscopic measurements. The results illustrate that drop deformation stabilizes drops against coalescence. Numerical simulations are used to describe an emulsion in shear flow at dispersed-phase volume fractions up to 30 percent. Shear-thinning viscosities and large normal stresses are found. The results are used to describe pressure-driven flow of a concentrated emulsion in a cylindrical tube. Blunted macroscopic velocity profiles and shear-thinning apparent viscosities are predicted. Our results suggest that some features of moderately concentrated emulsion flows can be predicted by an effective mean-field model.

Copyright © 1998 by The American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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