Sedimentation of a Suspension in a Centrifugal Field

[+] Author and Article Information
R. M. Lueptow, W. Hübler

Department of Mechanical Engineering, Northwestern University, Evanston, IL 60208

J Biomech Eng 113(4), 485-491 (Nov 01, 1991) (7 pages) doi:10.1115/1.2895430 History: Received September 17, 1990; Revised April 22, 1991; Online March 17, 2008


To model centrifugal sedimentation of biological suspensions, the time history of sedimentation of particles in a centrifugal field was considered for two geometries: a tube and a cylindrical container. The Kynch theory for batch gravitational settling in Cartesian coordinates based on mass conservation was extended to include a centrifugal sedimentation force, cylindrical coordinates, and the Hawksley-Vand hindered settling model. The resulting quasi-linear partial differential equation was solved by the method of characteristics. The combination of radial dependence of the sedimentation force and cylindrical geometry in the centrifugal case results in several differences in the time-position history diagram of the sedimentation process compared to the gravitational case. First, instead of a region of uniform concentration equal to the initial concentration, a region of concentration that is continuously decreasing with time results. Second, in the region of particle accumulation, curved constant concentration contours result instead of straight lines. Finally, a secondary shock that is dependent upon the initial concentration and the radius ratio of the rotating vessel appears in the centrifugal case. The time history of the concentration for a particle suspension with an initial concentration typical of blood is presented.

Copyright © 1991 by The American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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