Numerical study of a sphere descending along an inclined slope in a liquid

19 Jan 2018

The descending process of a sphere rolling and/or sliding along an inclined slope in a liquid involves interactions between the hydrodynamic forces on the sphere and the contact forces between the sphere and the plane. In this study, the descending process of sphere in a liquid was examined using coupled LBM-DEM technique. The effects of slope angle, viscosity and friction coefficient on the movement of a sphere were investigated. Two distinct descending patterns were observed: (a) a stable rolling/sliding movement along the slope, and (b) a fluctuating pattern along the slope. Five dimensionless coefficients (Reynolds number (Re), drag coefficient, lift coefficient, moment coefficient and rolling coefficient) were used to analyze the observed processes. The vortex structure in the wake of the sphere gives a lift force to the sphere, which in turn controls the different descending patterns. It is found that the generation of a vortex is not only governed by Re, but also by particle rotation. Relationships between the forces/moments and the dimensionless coefficients are established.