Motion of a rigid cylinder between parallel plates in stokes flow. Part 1: Motion in a quiescent fluid and sedimentation

A. S. Dvinsky, A. S. Popel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


A general numerical scheme for solution of two-dimensional Stokes equations in a multiconnected domain of arbitrary shape [1, 2] is applied to the motion of a rigid circular cylinder between plane parallel boundaries. Numerically generated boundary-conforming coordinates are used to transform the flow domain into a domain with rectilinear boundaries. The transformed Stokes equations in vorticity-stream function form are then solved on a uniform grid using an iterative algorithm. In Part I coefficients of the resistance matrix representing the forces and torque on the cylinder due to its translational motion parallel or perpendicular to the boundaries or due to rotation about its axis are calculated. The solutions are obtained for a wide range of particle radii and positions across the channel. It is found that the force on a particle translating parallel to the boundaries without rotation exhibits a minimum at a position between the channel centerline and the wall and a local maximum on the centerline. The resistance matrix is utilized to calculate translational and angular velocities of a free particle settling under gravity in a vertical channel. It is found that the translational velocity has a maximum at some lateral position and a minimum on the centerline; the particle angular velocity is opposite in sign to that of a particle rolling along the nearer channel wall except when the gap between the particle and the wall is very small. These results are compared with existing analytical solutions for a small cylindrical particle situated on the channel centerline, and with solutions of related 3-D problems for a spherical particle in a circular tube and in a place channel. It is shown that the behavior of cylindrical and spherical particles in a channel in many cases is qualitatively different. This is attributed to different flow patterns in these two cases. The motion of a spherical particle in a circular tube has qualitative and quantitative features similar to those for a cylindrical particle in a plane channel.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)391-404
Number of pages14
JournalComputers and Fluids
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1987

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Science(all)
  • Engineering(all)


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