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haakon April 21, 2013 08:27

About the dimension of Saffman-Mei particle lift force model
I'm working with flows with discrete, Lagrangian, particles in OpenFOAM. In the latest 2.2-release of OF, there is a particle lift force model, i.e. cross-stream forces on particles from velocity gradients.

However, I am slightly unsure if the implemented force model can be correct. I have not yet filed a bug report on it, in case my interpretation of the code is wrong. The piece of code I am looking at is found in src/lagrangian/intermediate/submodels/Kinematic/ParticleForces/Lift/LiftForce/LiftForce.C, line 144:


value.Su() = mass/p.rho()*p.d()/2.0*p.rhoc()*Cl*((p.Uc() - p.U())^curlUc);
If I use "normal" units for the terms mass, rho, d, Uc and curlUc, and assume that the lift coefficient is dimensionless, i get that the lift force gets the unit kg*m^2/s^2. How can this be correct? Shouldn't it be kg*m/s^2, i.e. mass times acceleration?

The "correct" behaviour can for example be seen in src/lagrangian/intermediate/submodels/Kinematic/ParticleForces/Gravity/GravityForce.C:

value.Su() = mass*g_*(1.0 - p.rhoc()/p.rho());
As g_ is an acceleration (with unit m/s^2), the dimension of this expression is clearly mass times acceleration.

Does any of you have any reasonable explanation on how the expression in LiftForce.C can be correct?

haakon April 22, 2013 12:27

I have now come to the conclusion that it defineatly is a bug in the above mentioned piece of code. The bug is reported here:

For the reference, removing the particle diameter from the expression gives you the correct force. See the bug report above for details. The corrected line of code then become:


value.Su() = mass/p.rho()*p.rhoc()/2*Cl*((p.Uc() - p.U())^curlUc);

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