Fragmentation and Erosion of Two-Dimensional Aggregates in Shear Flow

Nikolina D. Vassileva, Henricus T.M. van den Ende, Friedrich Gunther Mugele, J. Mellema

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We consider single two-dimensional aggregates containing glass particles trapped at a water/oil or water/air interface. Two modes for aggregate break up are observed: break up by fragmentation into a few parts and break up by erosion of single particles. We have studied the critical shear rate for these modes as a function of the aggregate size. Two different particle sizes were used. The smaller particles, with a radius of 65 m, form aggregates that break up predominantly by erosion at a shear rate between 0.5 and 0.7 s-1. This value hardly depends on the size of the aggregates. The larger particles, with a radius of 115 m, form aggregates that break by erosion or by fragmentation. In both modes, the critical shear rate again depends only weakly on the size of the aggregates and ranges between 1.6 and 2.2 s-1. Also the structural changes inside the aggregate before break up were studied. The aggregate behavior at the water/air and water/oil interfaces is quite similar. The critical shear rate for break up was also modeled. The model shows in both modes a weak dependence of the critical shear rate on the aggregate size, which is consistent with the experimental observations. The kinetics of the erosion process was also modeled and compared with the experimentally obtained time dependence of the aggregate size. The differences in the large and small particle systems can be attributed to the occurrence of friction forces between the particles, which one expects to be much larger for the large particle system, due to the stronger two-particle interaction
Original languageUndefined
Pages (from-to)2352-2361
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 18 Jan 2007


  • IR-57945

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