Clouds of bubbles in a viscoplastic fluid

Emad Chaparian, Ian A. Frigaard

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)
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Viscoplastic fluids can hold bubbles/particles stationary by balancing the buoyancy stress with the yield stress - the key parameter here is the yield number, the ratio of the yield stress to the buoyancy stress. In the present study, we investigate a suspension of bubbles in a yield-stress fluid. More precisely, we compute how much is the gas fraction that could be held trapped in a yield-stress fluid without motion. Here the goal is to shed light on how the bubbles feel their neighbours through the stress field and to compute the critical yield number for a bubble cloud beyond which the flow is suppressed. We perform two-dimensional computations in a full periodic box with randomized positions of the monosized circular bubbles. A large number of configurations are investigated to obtain statistically converged results. We intuitively expect that for higher volume fractions, the critical yield number is larger. Not only here do we establish that this is the case, but also we show that short-range interactions of bubbles increase the critical yield number even more dramatically for bubble clouds. The results show that the critical yield number is a linear function of volume fraction in the dilute regime. An algebraic expression model is given to approximate the critical yield number (semi-empirically) based on the numerical experiment in the studied range of 0 ≤ φ ≤ 0.31,, together with lower and upper estimates.

Original languageEnglish
Article number927
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Fluid Mechanics
Early online date21 Sept 2021
Publication statusPublished - 25 Nov 2021


  • bubble dynamics
  • multiphase flow
  • plastic materials


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