Effect of fluid and particle inertia on the rotation of an oblate spheroidal particle suspended in linear shear flow

Authors: Rosén, T., Do-Quang, M., Aidun, C. K., Lundell, F.
Document Type: Article
Pubstate: Published
Journal: Physical Review E
Volume: 91   053017
Year: 2015


This work describes the inertial effects on the rotational behavior of an oblate spheroidal particle confined between two parallel opposite moving walls, which generate a linear shear flow. Numerical results are obtained using the lattice Boltzmann method with an external boundary force. The rotation of the particle depends on the particle Reynolds number, Re p=Gd 2ν -1 (G is the shear rate, d is the particle diameter, ν is the kinematic viscosity), and the Stokes number, St=αRer p (α is the solid-to-fluid density ratio), which are dimensionless quantities connected to fluid and particle inertia, respectively. The results show that two inertial effects give rise to different stable rotational states. For a neutrally buoyant particle (St=Re p) at low Re p, particle inertia was found to dominate, eventually leading to a rotation about the particle's symmetry axis. The symmetry axis is in this case parallel to the vorticity direction; a rotational state called log-rolling. At high Rep, fluid inertia will dominate and the particle will remain in a steady state, where the particle symmetry axis is perpendicular to the vorticity direction and has a constant angle φ c to the flow direction. The sequence of transitions between these dynamical states were found to be dependent on density ratio α, particle aspect ratio r p, and domain size. More specifically, the present study reveals that an inclined rolling state (particle rotates around its symmetry axis, which is not aligned in the vorticity direction) appears through a pitchfork bifurcation due to the influence of periodic boundary conditions when simulated in a small domain. Furthermore, it is also found that a tumbling motion, where the particle symmetry axis rotates in the flow-gradient plane, can be a stable motion for particles with high r p and low α.