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Particle segregation in falling polydisperse suspension droplets

  • Melissa Faletra (a1), Jeffrey S. Marshall (a1), Mengmeng Yang (a2) and Shuiqing Li (a2)


The problem of a suspension droplet falling under gravity was examined for polydisperse droplets composed of a mixture of particles with different densities and sizes. The study was conducted using both simulations based on oseenlet particle interactions and laboratory experiments. The hydrodynamic interactions of the particles within the suspension droplet allow a polydisperse collection of particles to fall as a coherent droplet, even for cases where the difference in particle terminal velocity would cause them to separate quickly from each other in the absence of hydrodynamic interactions. However, a gradual segregation phenomenon is observed in which particles with lower terminal velocity preferentially leave the suspension droplet by entering into the droplet tail, whereas particles with higher terminal velocity remain for longer periods of time within the droplet. When computations and experiments are performed for bidisperse mixtures, a point is eventually reached where all of the lighter/smaller particles are ejected into the droplet tail and the droplet continues to fall with only the heavier/larger particles.


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