Research Papers

One-Way and Two-Way Coupling Analyses on Three Phase Flows in Hydrocyclone Separator

[+] Author and Article Information
S. M. Mousavian, M. Ahmadvand, A. F. Najafi

School of Energy Engineering, Power and Water University of Technology, 16765-1719 Tehran, Iran

J. Appl. Mech 76(6), 061005 (Jul 23, 2009) (10 pages) doi:10.1115/1.3130445 History: Received August 01, 2007; Revised April 04, 2009; Published July 23, 2009

The flow behavior in hydrocyclones is quite complex. The computational fluid dynamics method was used to simulate the flow fields inside a hydrocyclone in order to investigate its separation efficiency. In the computational fluid dynamics study of hydrocyclones, the air-core dimension is a key to predicting the mass split between the underflow and overflow. In turn, the mass split influences the prediction of the size classification curve. Generally in hydrocyclone simulations, assuming low particle volume fractions, the discrete phase effects on the continuous phase have been excluded; therefore, one-way coupling method has been used. Due to high particle consistencies, regions in some cases, especially in underflow areas, excluding discrete phase effects on continuous phase may be ineligible. In this study for an example case by consisting discrete phase effects and using two-way coupling method, simulation accuracy noticeably has been improved. Three models, the kε model, the Reynolds stress model (RSM) without considering air core, and Reynolds stress turbulence model with volume of fluid multiphase model for simulating air core, were compared for the predictions of velocity, axial, and tangential velocity distributions and separation proportion. Results by the RSM with air-core simulation and two-way coupling model, since it produces some detailed features of the turbulence and discrete phase mode effects, are clearly closer in predicting the experimental data than the other two.

Copyright © 2009 by American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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Figure 1

Schematic of conventional hydrocyclone

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Figure 2

Velocity components in hydrocyclone

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Figure 3

One of the used meshes in CFD calculations

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Figure 4

Predicted versus experimental tangential velocities

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Figure 7

Flow injection area

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Figure 8

Flow filed: (a) flow path lines, (b) downward velocity field, and (c) upward velocity field

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Figure 9

(a) Pressure field, (b) shaping the air core via air suction, and (c) completed air core

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Figure 10

Some obtained trajectory of particles, leaving the hydrocyclone: (up) from under flow and (down) from over flow

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Figure 11

Comparison of separation efficiency at 5.8 m/s inlet velocity

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Figure 12

Comparison of separation efficiency at 8.2 m/s inlet velocity

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Figure 13

Comparison of separation efficiency at 10.6 m/s inlet velocity

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Figure 5

Predicted versus experimental axial velocities at 0 deg

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Figure 6

Predicted versus experimental axial velocities at 90 deg

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Figure 14

Comparison of separation efficiency by one-way and two-way coupling methods



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