Axial and lateral particle ordering in finite Reynolds number channel flows

Katherine J. Humphry, Pandurang M. Kulkarni, David A. Weitz, Jeffrey F. Morris, Howard A. Stone

Research output: Contribution to journalLetterpeer-review

120 Scopus citations


Inertial focusing in a pressure-driven flow refers to the positioning of particles transverse to the mean flow direction that occurs as a consequence of a finite particle Reynolds number. In channels with rectangular cross-sections, and for a range of channel aspect ratios and particle confinement, experimental results are presented to show that both the location and the number of focusing positions depend on the number of particles per unit length along the channel. This axial number density is a function of both the channel cross-section and the particle volume fraction. These results are rationalized using simulations of the particle-laden flow to show the manner in which hydrodynamic interactions set the preferred locations in these confined flows. A criterion is presented for the occurrence of a stepwise transition from one to two or more trains of particles.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number081703
JournalPhysics of Fluids
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 2010

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Computational Mechanics
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Fluid Flow and Transfer Processes


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