We describe the direct simulation of high-solids-fraction suspensions of non-spherical rigid particles that are slightly denser than the fluid. The lattice-Boltzmann method is used to solve the flow of the interstitial Newtonian fluid, and the immersed boundary method is used to enforce a no-slip boundary condition at the surface of each particle. The surface points for the immersed boundary method are also employed for collision handling by applying repulsive forces between nearby surface points. Due to the finite number of these points, the method simulates rough surface collisions. We also discuss methods for integrating the equations of particle motion at low density ratios and propose a method with improved accuracy. Rigid particles shaped like red blood cells were simulated. Simulations of a single particle showed that the particle settles in its original orientation when the Reynolds number is low (1.2) but flips to a higher drag orientation when the Reynolds number is higher (7.3). A simulation with a 45% solids volume fraction and a low solid over fluid density ratio showed the possibility of simulating blood as it is found in the body. A simulation at a lower solids volume fraction (35%) was used to compare the results with the erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR), a common blood test. The sedimentation rate was estimated as 0.2 mm/hr, which is an order of magnitude lower than a typical ESR of about 6 mm/hr for a healthy adult. The most likely reasons for the discrepancy are the omission of agglomeration-inducing inter-cellular forces from the simulations and the treatment of the red blood cells as rigid particles.

This content is only available via PDF.
You do not currently have access to this content.