Novel immersed boundary method for direct numerical simulations of solid-fluid flows
Solid-fluid two-phase flows, where the solid volume fraction is large either by geometry or by population (as in slurry flows), are ubiquitous in nature and industry. The interaction between the fluid and the suspended solids, in such flows, are too strongly coupled rendering the assumption of a single-way interaction (flow influences particle motion alone but not vice-versa) invalid and inaccurate. Most commercial flow solvers do not account for twoway interactions between fluid and immersed solids. The current state-of-art is restricted to two-way coupling between spherical particles (of very small diameters, such that the particlediameter to the characteristic flow domain length scale ratio is less than 0.01) and flow. These solvers are not suitable for solving several industrial slurry flow problems such as those of hydrates which is crucial to the oil-gas industry and rheology of slurries, flows in highly constrained geometries like microchannels or sessile drops that are laden with micro-PIV beads at concentrations significant for two-way interactions to become prominent. It is therefore necessary to develop direct numerical simulation flow solvers employing rigorous two-way coupling in order to accurately characterise the flow profiles between large immersed solids and fluid. It is necessary that such a solution takes into account the full 3D governing equations of flow (Navier-Stokes and continuity equations), solid translation (Newton’s second law) and solid rotation (equation of angular momentum) while simultaneously enabling interaction at every time step between the forces in the fluid and solid domains. This thesis concerns with development and rigorous validation of a 3D solid-fluid solver based on a novel variant of immersed-boundary method (IBM). The solver takes into account full two-way fluid-solid interaction with 6 degrees-of-freedom (6DOF). The solid motion solver is seamlessly integrated into the Gerris flow solver hence called Gerris Immersed Solid Solver (GISS). The IBM developed treats both fluid and solid in the manner of “fluid fraction” such that any number of immersed solids of arbitrary geometry can be realised. Our IBM method also allows transient local mesh adaption in the fluid domain around the moving solid boundary, thereby avoiding problems caused by the mesh skewness (as seen in common mesh-adaption algorithms) and significantly improves the simulation efficiency. The solver is rigorously validated at levels of increasing complexity against theory and experiment at low to moderate flow Reynolds number. At low Reynolds numbers (Re 1) these include: the drag force and terminal settling velocities of spherical bodies (validating translational degrees of freedom), Jeffrey’s orbits tracked by elliptical solids under shear flow (validating rotational and translational degrees of freedom) and hydrodynamic interaction between a solid and wall. Studies are also carried out to understand hydrodynamic interaction between multiple solid bodies under shear flow. It is found that initial distance between bodies is crucial towards the nature of hydrodynamic interaction between them: at a distance smaller than a critical value the solid bodies cluster together (hydrodynamic attraction) and at a distance greater than this value the solid bodies travel away from each other (hydrodynamic repulsion). At moderately high flow rates (Re O(100)), the solver is validated against migratory motion of an eccentrically placed solid sphere in Poisuelle flow. Under inviscid conditions (at very high Reynolds number) the solver is validated against chaotic motion of an asymmetric solid body. These validations not only give us confidence but also demonstrate the versatility of the GISS towards tackling complex solid-fluid flows. This work demonstrates the first important step towards ultra-high resolution direct numerical simulations of solid-fluid flows. The GISS will be available as opensource code from February 2015.
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