The first effects of fluid inertia on flows in ordered and random arrays of spheres
Theory and lattice-Boltzmann simulations are used to examine the effects of fluid inertia, at small Reynolds numbers, on flows in simple cubic, face-centred cubic and random arrays of spheres. The drag force on the spheres, and hence the permeability of the arrays, is determined at small but finite Reynolds numbers, at solid volume fractions up to the close-packed limits of the arrays. For small solid volume fraction, the simulations are compared to theory, showing that the first inertial contribution to the drag force, when scaled with the Stokes drag force on a single sphere in an unbounded fluid, is proportional to the square of the Reynolds number. The simulations show that this scaling persists at solid volume fractions up to the close-packed limits of the arrays, and that the first inertial contribution to the drag force relative to the Stokes-flow drag force decreases with increasing solid volume fraction. The temporal evolution of the spatially averaged velocity and the drag force is examined when the fluid is accelerated from rest by a constant average pressure gradient toward a steady Stokes flow. Theory for the short- and long-time behaviour is in good agreement with simulations, showing that the unsteady force is dominated by quasi-steady drag and added-mass forces. The short- and long-time added-mass coefficients are obtained from potential-flow and quasi-steady viscous-flow approximations, respectively.