This paper characterizes the mixing behavior of laminar flows within a circular pipe equipped with plain woven meshes or screens, acting as static mixers. In this quest, their performance was numerically investigated using the Lagrangian particle method in a commercial CFD solver, whereby the effect of changing the screen geometry, number of screens, inter-screen spacing, and operating conditions were considered.

Mixing was addressed from a distributive and dispersive perspectives using both qualitative and quantitative descriptions. The distributive mixing indicated that a central injection of a single fluid should be coupled with a short inter-screen spacing to better spread the particles and enhance mixing as opposed to a larger inter-screen spacing. On the contrary, the mixing of two immiscible fluids of similar properties reveal that a large inter-screen spacing is recommended. From a dispersive mixing perspective, extensional efficiency contours revealed that the fluid would undergo all three modes of flow behavior, each of which dominating a certain region depending on the location with respect to the screen. Finally, it was interesting to find that a coarser screen geometry consistently outperformed finer screens in spreading and mixing the particles.

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