Static mixers are increasingly being used to perform a variety of mixing tasks in industries, ranging from simple blending to complex multiphase reaction systems. Use of static mixers to process non-Newtonian fluids is quite common. Data on the pressure drop of non-Newtonian fluids in static mixers and the degree of mixing of materials through the mixer are very useful in the design and engineering application of these tools. This paper extends a previous study by the authors on an industrial helical static mixer and illustrates how static mixing processes of single-phase viscous liquids can be simulated numerically. A further aim is to provide an improved understanding of the flow pattern of pseudoplastic liquids through the mixer. A three-dimensional finite volume simulation is used to study the performance of the mixer. The flow velocities, pressure drops, etc., are calculated for various flow rates, using the Carreau and the power law models for non-Newtonian fluids. The numerical predictions by these two models are compared to existing experimental data. Also, a comparison of the mixer performance for both Newtonian and pseudoplastic fluids is presented. The effects of the Reynolds number of the flow and also properties of pseudoplastic fluids on the static mixer performance have been studied. It is shown that for the materials studied here, the fluid type is not effective on the degree of mixing. It is also shown that the fluid type has a major impact on the pressure drop across the mixer.
Numerical Simulation and Mixing Study of Pseudoplastic Fluids in an Industrial Helical Static Mixer
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Rahmani, R. K., Keith, T. G., and Ayasoufi, A. (October 3, 2005). "Numerical Simulation and Mixing Study of Pseudoplastic Fluids in an Industrial Helical Static Mixer." ASME. J. Fluids Eng. May 2006; 128(3): 467–480. https://doi.org/10.1115/1.2174058
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