Non-newtonian open-channel flow : effect of shape on laminar and transitional flow
Vanyaza, Sydwell Luvo
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When designing the open channels to transport the homogenous non-Newtonian slurries, the effect of channel shape is one of the parameters that should be checked and very little research has been conducted to address this matter. Open channels are commonly applied in the mining industry where mine tailings have to be transported to the disposal dams at high concentrations to save water consumption. This thesis addresses the effect of the cross-sectional shape of the channel with emphasis on laminar and transitional flow of non-Newtonian fluids. The literature review on the flow of Newtonian and non-Newtonian fluids has been presented. The most relevant one to this topic is the work done by Straub et al (1958) for Newtonian fluids and the analytical work presented by Kozicki and Tiu (1967) for non-Newtonian fluids. Authors like Coussot (1994) and Haldenwang (2003) referred to their work but did not comprehensively verified it experimentally. Three flume shapes were designed to investigate this problem namely, rectangular, semi circular, and trapezoidal flume shape. The test rig consisted of a 10 m long by 300mm wide tilting flume that can be partitioned into two sections to form a 150 mm wide channel. All three flume shapes were tested in both the 150 mm and 300 mm wide flumes. This flume is linked to the in-line tube viscometer with three tube diameters namely, 13 mm; 28 mm; and 80 mm. The experimental investigation covered a wide range of flow rates (0.1-45l/s), and flume slopes (1-5 degrees). The fluids tested were kaolin suspension (5.4 - 9% v/v), CMC solution (1 - 4% m/m), and bentonite suspension (4.6 and 6.2% mlm). The models found in the literature were evaluated with the large database compiled from the test results to predict the laminar and transitional flow of these fluids with the aim of checking the effect of the cross-sectional shape of these channels selected in these flow regimes. For all the flume shapes and non-Newtonian fluids selected in this thesis it was found that in predicting the laminar flow, the effect of shape is adequately accounted for by the use of hydraulic radius. In predicting the transitional flow, it was found that the effect of shape does not have to be included.