Slurry Flow Experiment

We are conducting a slurry flow experiment to produce behavior like in these photos (below) obtained in Peko Hosoi's lab at MIT. To the right is a picture of lab alumnus Chi Wey with the apparatus. Glass beads of a uniform size are mixed into a less dense viscous fluid. The resulting slurry is poured into a reservoir at the top of an inclined plane. A controlled amount of the slurry is allowed to flow through a gate down the incline. At low inclination angles and concentrations, the particles tend to settle out of the mixture and stick to the surface of the incline, leaving a clear fluid to flow down the slope (left panel). At intermediate angles and concentrations, a well-mixed slurry flows down the slope (middle panel) producing the characteristic fingering pattern seen in visous films. At high inclination angles and particle concentrations (right panel) the beads tend to collect at the front of the film; their presence drastically changes the dynamics of the contact line, supressing fingering and producing a pronounced ridge.

For more discussion of this problem and other problems we work on, see the publications page.