Lattice-Boltzmann simulation of creeping generalized Newtonian flows: theory and guidelines

The accuracy of the lattice-Boltzmann (LB) method is related to the relaxation time controlling the flow viscosity. In particular, it is often recommended to avoid large fluid viscosities in order to satisfy the low-Knudsen-number assumption that is essential to recover hydrodynamic behavior at the macroscopic scale, which may in principle limit the possibility of simulating creeping flows and non-Newtonian flows involving important viscosity variations. Here it is shown, based on the continuous Boltzmann equations, that a two-relaxation-time (TRT) model can however recover the steady Navier-Stokes equations without any restriction on the fluid viscosity, provided that the Knudsen number is redefined as a function of both relaxation times. This effective Knudsen number is closely related to the previously-described parameter controlling numerical errors of the TRT model, providing a consistent theory at both the discrete and continuous levels. To simulate incompressible flows, the viscous incompressibility condition M a 2 /Re 1 also needs to be satisfied, where M a and Re are the Mach and Reynolds numbers. This concept is extended by defining a local incompressibility factor, allowing one to locally control the accuracy of the simulation for flows involving varying viscosities. These theoretical arguments are illustrated based on numerical simulations of the two-dimensional flow past a square cylinder. In the case of a Newtonian flow, the viscosity independence is confirmed for relaxation times up to 10 4 , and the ratio M a 2 /Re = 0.1 is small enough to ensure reliable incompressible simulations. The Herschel-Bulkley model is employed to introduce shear-dependent viscosities in the flow. The proposed numerical strategy allows to achieve major viscosity variations, avoiding the implementation of artificial viscosity cutoff in high-viscosity regions. Highly non-linear flows are simulated over ranges of the Bingham number Bn ∈ [1, 1000] and flow index n ∈ [0.2, 1.8], and successfully compared to prior numerical works based on Navier-Stokes solvers. This work provides a general framework to simulate complex creeping flows, as encountered in many biological and industrial systems, using the lattice-Boltzmann method.

Simon Gsell, Umberto d'Ortona, Julien Favier. Lattice-Boltzmann simulation of creeping generalized Newtonian flows: theory and guidelines. Journal of Computational Physics, 2021, 429, pp.109943. ⟨10.1016/⟩. ⟨hal-03166492⟩

Journal: Journal of Computational Physics

Date de publication: 22-01-2021

  • Simon Gsell
  • Umberto d'Ortona
  • Julien Favier

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