Journal of Fluid Mechanics

Inertial migration of rigid spheres in two-dimensional unidirectional flows

B. P.  Ho a1 and L. G.  Leal a1
a1 Chemical Engineering, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena

Article author query
ho bp   [Google Scholar] 
leal lg   [Google Scholar] 


The familiar Segré-Silberberg effect of inertia-induced lateral migration of a neutrally buoyant rigid sphere in a Newtonian fluid is studied theoretically for simple shear flow and for two-dimensional Poiseuille flow. It is shown that the spheres reach a stable lateral equilibrium position independent of the initial position of release. For simple shear flow, this position is midway between the walls, whereas for Poiseuille flow, it is 0·6 of the channel half-width from the centre-line. Particle trajectories are calculated in both cases and compared with available experimental data. Implications for the measurement of the rheological properties of a dilute suspension of spheres are discussed.

(Published Online March 29 2006)
(Received September 4 1973)