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Workshop / Seminar

CHE 598 Seminar: Flow Behavior of Aspherical Particles

Pullman Campus = Spark 335 Tri-Cities Campus = TCIC 221
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About the event

SPEAKER: Dr. Jennifer Curtis, Distinguished Professor, Department of Chemical Engineering, University of California, Davis


Jennifer Sinclair Curtis is Distinguished Professor of Chemical Engineering at the University of California, Davis. Her research focuses on the development and validation of particle flow models that have been extensively adopted by both commercial and open source CFD software packages. She is a Member of the National Academy of Engineering and a Fellow of APS, AAAS, ASEE and AIChE. She is recipient of AIChE’s Margaret Hutchinson Rousseau Award for Lifetime Achievement by a Woman Chemical Engineer, AIChE’s Particle Technology Forum’s Lifetime Achievement Award, a Humboldt Research Award, a Fulbright Senior Research Scholar Award, ASEE’s Chemical Engineering Lectureship Award, ASEE’s Benjamin Garver Lamme Award, and the NSF Presidential Young Investigator Award. She received her PhD in Chemical Engineering from Princeton University and her BS in Chemical Engineering from Purdue University. She currently serves as Co-Chair of the US National Academies’ Board on Chemical Sciences and Technology.


Most industrial and geophysical particulate flows involve aspherical particles, and particle shape has been observed to significantly affect flow behavior.  For example, NASA is interested in simulating the descent of a spacecraft approaching the Lunar or Martian surface along a specified trajectory which involves gas jet-soil particle surface interaction through the landing and engine shutdown.  In order to predict the erosion of the Lunar or Martian soil (regolith), a description for the flow behavior for the regolith is needed. For Lunar and Martian soils, the particles are highly aspherical and irregular, and these properties of the soil greatly affect the rate of crater growth and the trajectories of the liberated particles.  This presentation will discuss the development of closure models for a particle-phase continuum treatment via the discrete element method that incorporates features of particle asphericity – from simple particle shapes to ones that are more irregular.  For highly irregular particles, mechanical interlocking, due to particle asperities or the bulk particle shape, can lead to orders of magnitude change in flowability. In most of our studies, aspherical grains are described using linked and overlapping spheres. With this linked approach, particle flexibility can also be described with a bonded particle model employing virtual bonds between constituent spheres.  Such virtual bonds incorporate normal and shear forces, as well as bending and torsional moments, and allow for particle breakage.