Viscous liquids have to be homogenized in continuous operations in many branches of processing industries; and therefore, fluid mixing plays a critical role in the success or failure of many industrial processes. Consequences of improper mixing include non-reproducible processing conditions and lowered product quality, resulting in the need for more elaborate downstream purification processes and increased waste disposal costs. The range of practical flow Reynolds numbers for helical static mixers in industry is usually from very small (Re ≈ 0) to moderate values (e.g. Re = 5,000). However, it has been found that the flow regime within helical static mixers is turbulent for relatively low Reynolds numbers, compared to the flow inside a pipe with no mixing elements present. This paper extends previous studies by the authors on the industrial helical static mixer. Its purpose is to present an improved understanding of the turbulent flow pattern for single-phase liquids through the mixer. Three-dimensional finite volume simulations are used to study the performance of the mixer using different turbulent models. Large-Eddy Simulation (LES) model is applied to the flow in an industrial helical static mixer to calculate the flow velocities, pressure drops, etc. Using a variety of predictive tools, the mixing results are obtained. Also, the accuracy and global performance of several different turbulent models are compared against the LES model.

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