Orientational dynamics of a triaxial ellipsoid in simple shear flow: Influence of inertia

Authors: Rosén, T., Kotsubo, , Aidun, C. K., Do-Quang, M., Lundell, F.
Document Type: Article
Pubstate: Published
Journal: Physical Review E
Volume: 96   013109
Year: 2017


The motion of a single ellipsoidal particle in simple shear flow can provide valuable insights toward understanding suspension flows with nonspherical particles. Previously, extensive studies have been performed on the ellipsoidal particle with rotational symmetry, a so-called spheroid. The nearly prolate ellipsoid (one major and two minor axes of almost equal size) is known to perform quasiperiodic or even chaotic orbits in the absence of inertia. With small particle inertia, the particle is also known to drift toward this irregular motion. However, it is not previously understood what effects from fluid inertia could be, which is of highest importance for particles close to neutral buoyancy. Here, we find that fluid inertia is acting strongly to suppress the chaotic motion and only very weak fluid inertia is sufficient to stabilize a rotation around the middle axis. The mechanism responsible for this transition is believed to be centrifugal forces acting on fluid, which is dragged along with the rotational motion of the particle. With moderate fluid inertia, it is found that nearly prolate triaxial particles behave similarly to the perfectly spheroidal particles. Finally, we also are able to provide predictions about the stable rotational states for the general triaxial ellipsoid in simple shear with weak inertia.