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Theoretical and Experimental Characterization of Emulsion Flow in a Cavity Transfer Mixer

[+] Author Affiliations
A. H. Raza, R. A. Lai-Fook, C. J. Lawrence

Imperial College London, London, UK

Paper No. FEDSM2003-45770, pp. 2391-2398; 8 pages
  • ASME/JSME 2003 4th Joint Fluids Summer Engineering Conference
  • Volume 1: Fora, Parts A, B, C, and D
  • Honolulu, Hawaii, USA, July 6–10, 2003
  • Conference Sponsors: Fluids Engineering Division
  • ISBN: 0-7918-3696-7 | eISBN: 0-7918-3673-8
  • Copyright © 2003 by ASME


A theoretical model of time-dependent flow based on Reynolds equation using emulsion processing in a Cavity Transfer Mixer (CTM) has been developed in Mathematica and is presented in this work. It is a continuum model, which allows the study of materials undergoing rapid deformation. The flow of a fluid in a CTM is examined using a finite difference analysis (FDA) to solve the flow equations for an unwound section with cavities arranged in a rectangular pattern. Periodic boundary conditions are included in the model to predict the pressure distribution, which allows subsequent determination of the flow field. The solution procedure gives a smooth function for the pressure field, with equal pressures at the boundaries in the y-direction and an overall mean pressure gradient in the x-direction. Once the pressure has been found, several flow properties follow directly. The flow in the downstream axial direction is seen to consist of purely pressure-driven flow. In contrast, the flow in the cross-cavity direction is a recirculating flow driven by the drag velocity of the moving rotor surface. These two flows taken together combine into a helical flow travelling through the cavity. Because of this, there is likely to bre a high degree of laminar and distributive flow in this type of machine. The experimental part of this work addresses the processing of an emulsion in the CTM when it is run under batch and continuous modes of operation. The flow characteristics have been studied for varying rotor speeds of 0 rpm, 16 rpm, 32 rpm, 48 rpm and 64 rpm. Also studied were the changes that the emulsion exhibits along the mixer length and with time in the mixer. The experiments indicate that increase in the rotational speed causes the viscosity to reduce systematically in both batch and continuous modes of operation.

Copyright © 2003 by ASME



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