Lateral displacement arrays are useful for separating particles such as blood cells and sand from carrier fluids. These arrays consist of staggered posts, which allow smaller particles to follow streamlines and larger particles to flow around the posts and migrate to one side. This migration increases the particle concentration in one direction and depletes the particle concentration in the other direction allowing particle separation to occur.

Experiments were conducted to separate large particles in non-Newtonian yield stress slurries using tapered bump arrays. The non-Newtonian slurry used was composed of a bentonite kaolin blend with the inclusion of larger diameter particles. These experiments were conducted to evaluate the performance of particle separation using a tapered array of staggered posts as configured in a bump array for non-Newtonian yield stress slurries, an application that has not been explored experimentally. The results of these experiments are described. This information could be applied in industrial settings such as separation of particles from nuclear waste slurries including those to be processed at the Hanford site, where removing large particles from waste streams is important to processing.

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