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Partic. vol. 40 pp. 44-51 (October 2018)
doi: 10.1016/j.partic.2017.12.005

Analysis of the motion of small-scale ellipsoidal particles in a horizontal laminar flow field

Lin Yang, Ji Zhang, Han Yuan, Ning Mei*

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    • Motion of an ellipsoidal particle in a horizontal laminar flow was studied experimentally. • The entrained ellipsoidal particle achieved stable speed faster than a spherical one. • The particle velocity was calculated based on modified BBO model.


A particle movement model for a horizontal laminar flow field was established in this study, using a modified Basset–Boussinesq–Oseen equation for multiphase fluid dynamics. The motion of ellipsoidal and spherical particles in this flow field was compared to determine the differences in entrainment of ellipsoidal versus spherical particles. Our theoretical results indicate that ellipsoidal particles move more rapidly and smoothly within the fluid than spherical particles under the same conditions. Moreover, this feature is enhanced, as the ellipsoidal degree of the particle increases. Based on a dimensional analysis, flow experiments were carried out to verify the behavior of ellipsoidal versus spherical particles in practice. Both our theoretical and experimental results show that ellipsoidal particles approach the fluid velocity more quickly than spherical particles. Future work would need to address effects of velocity gradients and rotation on particle behavior.

Graphical abstract


Solid–liquid two-phase flow; Horizontal laminar flow; Ellipsoidal particle; Ellipsoidal degree; Spherical particle; Velocity distribution