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Chaos. 1998 Jun;8(2):514-519.

Chaos suppression in gas-solid fluidization.

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University of Rhode Island, Department of Mechanical Engineering, 92 Upper College Road, Kingston, Rhode Island 02881.


Fluidization in granular materials occurs primarily as a result of a dynamic balance between gravitational forces and forces resulting from the flow of a fluid through a bed of discrete particles. For systems where the fluidizing medium and the particles have significantly different densities, density wave instabilities create local pockets of very high void fraction termed bubbles. The fluidization regime is termed the bubbling regime. Such a system is appropriately termed a self-excited nonlinear system. The present study examines chaos suppression resulting from an opposing oscillatory flow in gas-solid fluidization. Time series data representing local, instantaneous pressure were acquired at the surface of a horizontal cylinder submerged in a bubbling fluidized bed. The particles had a weight mean diameter of 345 &mgr;m and a narrow size distribution. The state of fluidization corresponded to the bubbling regime and total air flow rates employed in the present study ranged from 10% to 40% greater than that required for minimum fluidization. The behavior of time-varying local pressure in fluidized beds in the absence of a secondary flow is consistent with deterministic chaos. Kolmogorov entropy estimates from local, instantaneous pressure suggest that the degree of chaotic behavior can be substantially suppressed by the presence of an opposing, oscillatory secondary flow. Pressure signals clearly show a "phase-locking" phenomenon coincident with the imposed frequency. In the present study, the greatest degree of suppression occurred for operating conditions with low primary and secondary flow rates, and a secondary flow oscillation frequency of 15 Hz.


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