Particle organization after viscous sedimentation in tilted containers
A series of sedimentation experiments and numerical simulations have been conducted to understand the factors that control the final angle of a static sediment layer formed by quasi-monodisperse particles settling in an inclined container. The set of experiments includes several combinations of fluid viscosity, container angle, and solids concentration. A comparison between the experiments and a set of twodimensional numerical simulations shows that the physical mechanism responsible for the energy dissipation in the system is the collision between the particles. The results provide new insights into the mechanism that sets the morphology of the sediment layer formed by the settling of quasi-monodisperse particles onto the bottom of an inclined container. Tracking the interface between the suspension solids and the clear fluid zone reveals that the final angle adopted by the sediment layer shows strong dependencies on the initial particle concentration and the container inclination, but not the fluid viscosity. It is concluded that (1) the hindrance function plays an important role on the sediment bed angle, (2) the relation between the friction effect and the slope may be explained as a quasi-linear function of the projected velocity along the container bottom, and (3) prior to the end of settling there is a significant interparticle interaction through the fluid affecting to the final bed organization.We can express the sediment bed slope as a function of two dimensionless numbers, a version of the inertial number and the particle concentration. The present experiments confirm some previous results on the role of the interstitial fluid on low Stokes number flows of particulate matter.