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TECHNICAL PAPERS

Three-Dimensional Numerical Simulation and Performance Study of an Industrial Helical Static Mixer

[+] Author and Article Information
Ramin K. Rahmani

Department of Mechanical, Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering, The University of Toledo, Toledo, OH 43606rkhrahmani@yahoo.com

Theo G. Keith

Department of Mechanical, Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering, The University of Toledo, Toledo, OH 43606tkeith@eng.utoledo.edu

Anahita Ayasoufi

Department of Mechanical, Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering, The University of Toledo, Toledo, OH 43606aayasoufi@yahoo.com

J. Fluids Eng 127(3), 467-483 (Mar 01, 2005) (17 pages) doi:10.1115/1.1899166 History: Received November 16, 2003; Revised January 04, 2005; Accepted March 01, 2005

In many branches of processing industries, viscous liquids need to be homogenized in continuous operations. Consequently, fluid mixing plays a critical role in the success or failure of these processes. Static mixers have been utilized over a wide range of applications such as continuous mixing, blending, heat and mass transfer processes, chemical reactions, etc. This paper describes how static mixing processes of single-phase viscous liquids can be simulated numerically, presents the flow pattern through a helical static mixer, and provides useful information that can be extracted from the simulation results. The three-dimensional finite volume computational fluid dynamics code used here solves the Navier-Stokes equations for both laminar and turbulent flow cases. The turbulent flow cases were solved using k-ω model and Reynolds stress model (RSM). The flow properties are calculated and the static mixer performance for different Reynolds numbers (from creeping flows to turbulent flows) is studied. A new parameter is introduced to measure the degree of mixing quantitatively. Furthermore, the results obtained by k-ω and RSM turbulence models and various numerical details of each model are compared. The calculated pressure drop is in good agreement with existing experimental data.

Copyright © 2005 by American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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References

Figures

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Figure 1

A six-element static mixer

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Figure 2

(a) Computational domain across one helical surface is cut by a large number of parallel planes perpendicular to the flowfield centerline. (b) Cross-sectional mesh. (c) Volume mesh for one mixing element

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Figure 3

Residual curves for Re=0.01 (top), Re=10 (middle), and Re=1000 (bottom)

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Figure 4

The obtained structure radius (left) and the computed pressure drop (right) for Re=100

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Figure 5

Velocity contours (m∕s) and the vorticity contours (1∕s) for Re=5000 (using the kω model)

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Figure 6

Images of particle distribution at second element for Re=1000 (for different released particles number, Np)

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Figure 7

Velocity field at second, fourth, and sixth elements

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Figure 8

Velocity field calculated by k–ω (left) and RSM (right) models

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Figure 9

Particles’ locations at second, fourth, and sixth elements (Re=0.01)

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Figure 10

Particles’ locations at second, fourth, and sixth elements (Re=0.1)

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Figure 11

Particles’ locations at second, fourth, and sixth element (Re=1)

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Figure 12

Particles’ locations at second, fourth, and sixth elements (Re=10)

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Figure 13

Particles’ locations at second, fourth, and sixth elements (Re=100)

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Figure 14

Particles’ locations at second, fourth, and sixth elements (Re=1000)

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Figure 15

Particles’ locations at second, fourth, and sixth elements (Re=3000)k–ω model

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Figure 16

Particles’ locations at second, fourth, and sixth elements (Re=5000)k—ω model

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Figure 17

Particles’ locations calculated by k—ω (left) and RSM (right) models

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Figure 18

G-value calculated for Re=0.01, 0.1, 1, 10, 100, 1000, 3000, and 5000

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Figure 19

PDU values calculated for Re=0.01, 1, 10, 100, and 1000, at the second, fourth, and sixth mixing elements

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Figure 20

PDU values for Re=0.01, 0.1, 1, 10, 100, 1000, 3000, and 5000 at the fourth mixing elements

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Figure 21

PDU values at the end of even numbered mixing elements (Re=3000)

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