Predicting particle settling rate in a sheared mining slurry

Lavanya Sethuraman, Murray Rudman, Shiva Gopalakrishnan, Rajneesh Bhardwaj, Andrew Chryss, Darrin Stephens

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference PaperOther

1 Citation (Scopus)


Many tailings slurries are comprised of fine particles suspended in a carrier fluid. For high enough concentrations, the fines and water combine to form a non-Newtonian slurry. In a number of important applications, these slurries also contain larger, denser particles that are able to settle under shear. This results in inhomogeneity in the flow and can potentially significantly increase the pressure gradient required to drive it. A key unanswered question is how the settling rate of large particles is related to the rheology of the fluid and the local shear in the particle vicinity. In this paper, a numerical investigation of large particle settling in un-sheared and sheared mining slurries is presented. For power-law rheology, the ratio of sheared to un-sheared particle settling rate increases with increasing imposed shear and with increasing'shear thinning. We propose a criterion for estimating the settling velocity under shear that can be used to provide estimates of particle settling during transport and the likely distance before complete stratification in laminar flow.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication18th International Conferences on Transport and Sedimentation of Solid Particles, T and S 2017
PublisherWroclaw University of Environmental and Life Sciences
Number of pages8
ISBN (Electronic)9788377172698
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2017
EventInternational Conference on Transport and Sedimentation of Solid Particles 2017 - Prague, Czechia
Duration: 11 Sept 201715 Sept 2017
Conference number: 28th


ConferenceInternational Conference on Transport and Sedimentation of Solid Particles 2017


  • Particle settling
  • Sheared settling
  • Solids transport
  • Viscoplastic slurry

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