Surfactant stabilized bubbles flowing in a Newtonian fluid

E Rosenbaum and M Massoudi and K Dayal, MATHEMATICS AND MECHANICS OF SOLIDS, 24, 3823-3842 (2019).

DOI: 10.1177/1081286519854508

Bubbles suspended in a fluid cause the suspension to have different rheological properties than the base fluid. In general, the viscosity of the suspension increases as the volume fraction of the bubbles is increased. A current application, and motivation for this study, is in wellbore cements used for hydrocarbon extraction and carbon sequestration. In these settings, the gas bubbles are dispersed into the cement to reduce the density as well as improve the properties for specific conditions or wellbore issues. In this paper, we use Stokesian dynamics to numerically simulate the behavior of a large number of bubbles suspended in a Newtonian fluid. Going beyond prior work on simulating particles in suspension, we account for the nature of bubbles by allowing for slip on the bubble surface, the deflection on the bubble surface, and a bubble-bubble pairwise interaction that represents the surfactant physics; we do not account for bubble compressibility. We incorporate these interactions and simulate bubble suspensions of monodisperse size at several volume fractions. We find that the bubbles remain better dispersed compared with hard spherical particles that show a greater tendency to structure or cluster.

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