Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering Faculty Research


An Experimental Study of Electrorheological Fluid Flow Through a Packed Bed of Glass Beads

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This paper shows that pressure drop-flow rate performance of an electrorheological (ER) fluid flowing through a packed bed of glass beads is consistent with a modified Ergun equation for yield stress flow through a packed bed. ER fluids are of scientific and engineering interest due to the sensitivity of their rheological properties on the applied electric field. As far as we know ER fluids have not been studied for flows through porous media. In this work a silica particle–silicone oil suspension is pumped through a rectangular packed bed of glass beads with applied electric fields. The silica particles are observed to form fibrous structures parallel to the electric field that stretch between the beads and extend between the electrodes. The pressure drop-flow rate performance agrees well with the expected performance calculated from a modified Ergun equation for a yield stress fluid flow through the packed bed with the viscosity and yield stress as functions of the applied electric field.

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Transport in Porous Media





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