Modeling and experiments of polydisperse particle clouds

Adrian C. H. Lai (Lead / Corresponding author), Ruo-Qian Wang, Adrian Wing-Keung Law, E. Eric Adams

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)


A model for polydisperse particle clouds has been developed in this study. We extended the monodisperse particle cloud model of Lai et al. (Environ Fluid Mech 13(5):435–463, 2013) to the case of polydisperse particles. The particle cloud is first considered to be a thermal or buoyant vortex ring, with the thermal induced velocity field modeled by an expanding spherical Hill’s vortex. The buoyancy of the composite thermal is assumed to be the sum of buoyancy contributed by the all particles inside the thermal. Individual particles (of different particle properties) in the cloud are then tracked by the particle tracking equation using the computed induced velocity field. The turbulent dispersion effect is also accounted for by using a random walk model. Experiments of polydisperse particle clouds were carried out to validate the model. The agreement between model predictions and experiments was reasonable. We further validate our model by comparing it with the LES study of Wang et al. (J Hydraul Eng ASCE 141(7):06015006, 2014). The limitations of our model are then discussed with reference to the comparison. Overall, although some flow details are not captured by our model, the simplicity and generality of the model makes it useful in engineering applications.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)875-898
Number of pages24
JournalEnvironmental Fluid Mechanics
Issue number4
Early online date2 Jun 2016
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2016


  • Two-phase flows
  • Polydisperse
  • Buoyant vortex ring
  • Thermals
  • Particle clouds
  • Integral models


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