Simulation of the dynamics of fiber suspension flows
Abstract: A new model for simulating non-Brownian flexible fibres suspended in a Newtonian fluid has been developed. Special attention has been given to include realistic flow conditions found in the industrial papermaking process in the key features of the model; it is the intention of the author to employ the model in simulations of the forming section of the paper machine in future studies.The model considers inert fibres of various shapes and finite stiffness, interacting with each other through normal, frictional and lubrication forces, and with the surrounding fluid medium through hydrodynamic forces. Fibre-fluid interactions in the non-creeping flow regime are taken into account, and the two-way coupling between the solids and the fluid phase is included by enforcing momentum conservation between phases. The incompressible three-dimensional Navier-Stokes equations are employed to model the motion of the fluid medium.The validity of the model has been tested by comparing simulation results with experimental data from the literature. It was demonstrated that the model predicts the motion of isolated fibres in shear flow over a wide range of fibre flexibilities. It was also shown that the model predicts details of the orientation distribution of multiple straight, rigid fibres in a sheared suspension. Model predictions of the viscosity and first normal stress difference were in good agreement with experimental data found in the literature. Since the model is based solely on first-principles physics, quantitative predictions could be made without any parameter fitting.
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