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2 minutes reading time (339 words)

Who Cares About the Surge in "Funny" Fluids?

Well, it turns out lots of people. My first experience with "funny fluids" was in graduate school. One of my fluids professors had recently completed his doctoral thesis on funny fluids also known as non-Newtonian fluids. I got to see some of his graduate students do some crazy experiments with polymer additives to otherwise boring Newtonian fluids.


Funny, non-Newtonian fluids are often broken into two categories: 

    1. Homogeneous fluids which encompasses non-settling slurries where the fluid and solids behave in an aggregate, homogeneous manner
    2. Heterogeneous fluids which encompasses settling slurries where the fluid and solids behave somewhat independently


The applications where non-Newtonian fluid behavior shows up are many. Here are some examples:

    • Food products - peanut butter, chocolate, ketchup
    • Consumer products - toothpaste
    • Paint
    • Blood flow
    • Ash handling in power generation
    • Nuclear waste processing 
    • Cement 
    • Ore transportation in mining operations 
    • Mineral processing - oil sands, alumina production, tailings distribution
    • Sewage
    • Dredging
    • Fertilizer Production


AFT Fathom has had the capability to model homogeneous, non-Newtonian fluids since AFT Fathom 4.0 in 1999. It has had the capability to model heterogeneous, non-Newtonian flow since the AFT Fathom 7.0 release of the SSL module in 2009.

As Applied Flow Technology has offered more capability to model non-Newtonian fluids we have had a steady stream of requests to model waterhammer and surge in non-Newtonian fluids. Especially in heterogeneous, settling slurry pipe flow.

With the pending release of AFT Impulse 5 and the new SSL module in December, AFT Impulse will be the only commercial software solution that can model both non-settling and settling slurry non-Newtonian waterhammer. Changes that were needed was the merging of the core steady-state SSL module from AFT Fathom 8 as well as special features to address wavespeed changes when solid particles are entrained in the liquid.

So who cares about the surge in funny fluids?

The answer is any engineer handling non-Newtonian fluids who has to design for waterhammer/surge transients. Now such engineers have a powerful all-in-one simulation tool in AFT Impulse 5 to model this important branch of fluid engineering.

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Tuesday, 07 December 2021

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