The flow behaviour of shallow fluidised beds

  • Stuart J. McGuigan

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Philosophy


The flow behaviour of shallow gas-fluidised beds was studied.
experimentally using a rotational viscometer, and an inclined open channel.
Initially, tests were carried out with the viscometer in order to establish qualitative trends in the flow properties of a variety of materials over a wide range of fluidising conditions. Also, a technique was developed which enabled quantitative viscosity data to be extracted from the experimental results.
The flow properties were found to be sensitive to the size, size-range and density of the fluidised material, the type of distributor used, and the moisture content of the fluidising gas. Tests in beds up to 120 mm deep showed that the fluidity of the bed improves with reduction in depth; and indicated a range of flow behaviour from shear-thinning to Newtonian, depending chiefly on fluidising velocity ..
Later, an apparatus was built which provided for a steady, continuous flow of fluidised material down an inclined open channel of 3m length x 0.15m square, up to a mass flowrate of 10 kg/s (35 ton/hr). This facility has enabled data to be obtained that is of practical value in industrial applications; which is otherwise difficult in view of the present limited understanding of the true mechanism of fluidised flow. A correlation has been devised, based on analogy with laminar liquid flow, which describes the channel flow behaviour with reasonable accuracy over the whole range of shear-rates used.
1he channeI results indicated that at low fluidiising velocities the flow was adversely affected by settlement of a stagnant layer of particles on to the distributor, which gave rise to increased flow resistance. Conversely, at higher fluidising velocities the resistance at the distributor appeared to be less than at the walls. In view of this, and also because of the disparity in shear-rates between the two types of apparatus, it is not possible as yet to predict exactly the flow behaviour in an open channel from small-scale viscometer tests.
Date of AwardNov 1974
Original languageEnglish


  • flow behaviour
  • shallow fluidised beds

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