Drag forces of interacting spheres in power-law fluids

Chao Zhu, Kit Lam, Hoi Hung Chu, Xu Dong Tang, Guangliang Liu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


Drag forces of interacting particles suspended in power-law fluid flows were investigated in this study. The drag forces of interacting spheres were directly measured by using a micro-force measuring system. The tested particles include a pair of interacting spheres in tandem and individual spheres in a cubic matrix of multi-sphere in flows with the particle Reynolds number from 0.7 to 23. Aqueous carboxymethycellulose (CMC) solutions and glycerin solutions were used as the fluid media in which the interacting spheres were suspended. The range of power-law index varied from 0.6 to 1.0. In conjunction to the drag force measurements, the flow patterns and velocity fields of power-law flows over a pair of interacting spheres were also obtained from the laser assisted flow visualization and numerical simulation. Both experimental and computational results suggest that, while the drag force of an isolated sphere depends on the power-index, the drag coefficient ratio of an interacting sphere is independent from the power-law index but strongly depends on the separation distance and the particle Reynolds number. Our study also shows that the drag force of a particle in an assemblage is strongly positions dependent, with a maximum difference up to 38%.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)651-662
Number of pages12
JournalMechanics Research Communications
Issue number6
StatePublished - 2003

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • General Materials Science
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering


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