Motivated by recent experiments on the dustiness of nanoscale powders, this research addresses the modeling of powder aerosolization within the Venturi Dustiness Test (VDT) apparatus. As a first step in such modeling, we investigate the flow over a hemispherical (powder) hill, at the operating Reynolds number Re ∼ 20,000, in the powder holding tube attached to the VDT. The powder holding tube is idealized as a cylindrical tube, obstructed by a hemispherical (powder) hill.

The upstream flow field is characterized by the presence of a horse-shoe vortex, formed due to the separation of the boundary layer from the wall of the tube. A stagnation point occurs at the lower front surface of the bump. Strong near-wall vorticity is generated midway up the bump, and the flow is separated near the top of the bump. Kelvin-Helmholtz vortices are produced due to the strong shear-layer vorticity, and these then travel downstream with the flow. The upstream near-wall flow is dominated by a horseshoe vortex forming a necklace pushed out into the wake area. The flow detaches from the bump at the separation line, leading to vortex ‘roll-up’. These rolled-up vortices merge with the horseshoe vortices to form a large entangled hairpin vortex. The arch-type vortices shed with a frequency consistent with the Strouhal estimate fSt ∼ 6700 Hz.

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