Lattice Boltzmann simulation of 2D and 3D non-Brownian suspensions in Couette flow

Janneke Kromkamp*, Dirk van den Ende, Drona Kandhai, Ruud van der Sman, Remko Boom

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

65 Citations (Scopus)


In this study, the Lattice Boltzmann (LB) method is applied for computer simulation of suspension flow in Couette systems. Typical aspects of Couette flow such as wall effects and non-zero Reynolds numbers can be studied well with the LB method because of its time-dependent character. Couette flow of single, two and multi-particle systems was studied, where two-dimensional (2D) systems were compared with three-dimensional (3D) systems. Computations on multi-particle 3D suspensions, for instance to assess the viscosity or shear-induced diffusivity, were found to be very intensive. This was only partly a consequence of the 3D system size. The critical particle grid size, necessary for accurate results, was found to be relatively large, increasing the system to impractical sizes. It is however demonstrated that it is possible to carry out computer simulations on 2D suspensions and use relatively simple, linear scaling relations to translate these results to 3D suspensions, in this way avoiding intensive computations. By doing so, the LB method is shown to be well-suited for study of suspension flow in Couette systems, particularly for aspects as particle layering near solid walls, hydrodynamic particle interactions and viscous stresses at non-zero Reynolds numbers, which cannot be easily solved with alternative methods. It also opens the way to employ the LB method for other unexplored aspects, such as particle polydispersity and high Reynolds number flow, with large relevance to practical processing of suspensions.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)858-873
Number of pages16
JournalChemical engineering science
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2006


  • Suspension
  • Sphere
  • Lattice Boltzmann method
  • Couette flow
  • Computer Simulation
  • Cylinder


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