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04-07-2020 | Original Research | Issue 13/2020 Open Access

Cellulose 13/2020

Angular segregation of fibres in pipe flow: floc formation and utilization for length-based fibre separation

Cellulose > Issue 13/2020
Jakob D. Redlinger-Pohn
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The online version of this article (https://​doi.​org/​10.​1007/​s10570-020-03290-8) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.

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Cellulose fibres are prone to flocculate and form aggregates that are deformable by the hydrodynamic stress. In this work I document for coiled pipe flow, known to have secondary motion in the pipe cross-sectional plane, an accumulation of fibre flocs and fibre aggregates at the outer bend. That is the segregation into a section in the pipe cross-section and hence presents a case of angular segregation. The segregation was studied for non-coherent crowded fibre flocs. For that, segregation benefited from fibre concentration and suffered from increased hydrodynamic stress expressed by increasing Reynolds number. Based on the observed segregation of fibres a flow splitter was designed that separated the flow at 1/3 of the tube diameter measured from the inner bend. The outer bend suspension length-weighted fibre length was found to increase. For the best case in this work, the difference between outer and inner bend relative to the feed fibre length was 22%. As for radial and axial segregation, which are known, also angular segregation is fibre-length sensitive. As such it can be exploited for length fractionation of networking and aggregating elongated particles, for example fibres.
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