Toward application of conformal decomposition finite elements to non- colloidal particle suspensions

JB Lechman and MB Nemer and DR Noble, INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL FOR NUMERICAL METHODS IN FLUIDS, 68, 1409-1421 (2012).

DOI: 10.1002/fld.3638

Particle suspensions play an important role in many engineering applications, yet their behavior in a number of respects remains poorly understood. In conjunction with careful experiments, modeling and simulation of these systems can provide key insight into their complex behavior. However, these two-phase systems pose the challenge of simultaneously, accurately, and efficiently capturing the complex geometric structure, kinematics, and dynamics of the particulate discrete phase and the discontinuities it introduces into the variables (e.g., velocity, pressure, density) of the continuous phase. To this end, a new conformal decomposition finite element method (CDFEM) is introduced for solid particles in a viscous fluid. The method is verified in several simple test problems that are representative of aspects of particle suspension behavior. In all cases, we find the CDFEM to perform accurately and efficiently leading to the conclusion that it forms a prime candidate for application to the full direct numerical simulation of particle suspensions. Copyright (C) 2012 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

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