Point-particle methods for disperse flows

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

10 Scopus citations


In the first chapters of this book we have seen methods suitable for a first-principles simulation of the interaction between a fluid and solid objects immersed in it. The associated computational burden is considerable and it is evident that those methods cannot handle large numbers of particles. In this chapter we develop an alternative approach which, while approximate, permits the simulation of thousands, or even millions, of particles immersed in a flow. The key feature which renders this possible is that the exchanges of momentum (and also possibly mass and energy) between the particle and the surrounding fluid are modeled, rather than directly resolved. This implies an approximate representation that is based on incorporating assumptions into the development of the mathematical model. One of the most common approaches used today to model many particle-laden flows is based on the “point-particle approximation,” i.e. the treatment of individual particles as mathematical point sources of mass, momentum, and energy. This approximation requires an examination of the assumptions and limitations inherent to this approach, aspects that are given consideration in this chapter. Point-particle methods have relatively wide application and have proven a useful tool for modeling many complex systems, especially those comprised of a very large ensemble of particles. Details of the numerical aspects inherent to point-particle treatments are highlighted. We start by putting point-particle methods into the context established earlier in this text and, in particular, in the previous chapter.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationComputational Methods for Multiphase Flow
PublisherCambridge University Press
Number of pages38
ISBN (Electronic)9780511607486
ISBN (Print)0521847648, 9780521847643
StatePublished - Jan 1 2007

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Mathematics(all)


Dive into the research topics of 'Point-particle methods for disperse flows'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this