A Computational Framework for Fluid-Thermal Coupling of Particle Deposits

TR Number
Journal Title
Journal ISSN
Volume Title
Virginia Tech

This thesis presents a computational framework that models the coupled behavior between sand deposits and their surrounding fluid. Particle deposits that form in gas turbine engines and industrial burners, can change flow dynamics and heat transfer, leading to performance degradation and impacting durability. The proposed coupled framework allows insight into the coupled behavior of sand deposits at high temperatures with the flow, which has not been available previously. The coupling is done by using a CFD-DEM framework in which a physics based collision model is used to predict the post-collision state-of-the-sand-particle. The collision model is sensitive to temperature dependent material properties of sand. Particle deposition is determined by the particle's softening temperature and the calculated coefficient of restitution of the collision. The multiphase treatment facilitates conduction through the porous deposit and the coupling between the deposit and the fluid field.

The coupled framework was first used to model the behavior of softened sand particles in a laminar impinging jet flow field. The temperature of the jet and the impact surface were varied(T^* = 1000 – 1600 K), to observe particle behavior under different temperature conditions. The Reynolds number(Rejet = 20, 75, 100) and particle Stokes numbers (Stp = 0.53, 0.85, 2.66, 3.19) were also varied to observe any effects the particles' responsiveness had on deposition and the flow field. The coupled framework was found to increase or decrease capture efficiency, when compared to an uncoupled simulation, by as much as 10% depending on the temperature field. Deposits that formed on the impact surface, using the coupled framework, altered the velocity field by as much as 130% but had a limited effect on the temperature field.

Simulations were also done that looked at the formation of an equilibrium deposit when a cold jet impinged on a relatively hotter surface, under continuous particle injection. An equilibrium deposit was found to form as deposited particles created a heat barrier on the high temperature surface, limiting more particle deposition. However, due to the transient nature of the system, the deposit temperature increased once deposition was halted. Further particle injection was not performed, but it can be predicted that the formed deposit would begin to grow again.

Additionally, a Large-Eddy Simulation (LES) simulation, with the inclusion of the Smagorinsky subgrid model, was performed to observe particle deposition in a turbulent flow field. Deposition of sand particles was observed as a turbulent jet (Re jet=23000,T_jet^= 1200 K) impinged on a hotter surface(T_surf^= 1600 K). Differences between the simulated flow field and relevant experiments were attributed to differing jet exit conditions and impact surface thermal conditions. The deposit was not substantive enough to have a significant effect on the flow field. With no difference in the flow field, no difference was found in the capture efficiency between the coupled and decoupled frameworks.

Computational Fluid Dynamics(CFD), Large-Eddy Simulation(LES), Discrete Element Method(DEM, Particle Deposition