A new method of measuring local mass transfer for highly complex geometries is demonstrated. The method combines gypsum dissolution and X-ray computed tomography (CT). An object coated in gypsum is CT scanned before and after exposure to fluid flow. Digital three-dimensional pre- and post-flow geometries are created using the CT data, and the local dissolution thickness is determined by subtracting the post-flow from the pre-flow object. The method is first demonstrated for cylinders in cross-flow and validated with mass and heat transfer data. The measurements agree with values from correlations reported in the literature when scaled using Reynolds, Sherwood, and Schmidt numbers. The method is then applied to measure local mass transfer for the complex geometry of a 0.75-scale branching scleractinian coral Stylophera pistillata. Local Sherwood numbers vary between nearly zero on the backward facing surfaces of the downstream branches of the coral and nearly 200 at the tips of the branches at the top of the coral. The upstream facing surfaces at radii between 20 and 70 % of the overall radius of the coral experience Sherwood numbers close to 100. The local measurements are integrated to produce a bulk mass transfer coefficient that lies within the range of previous bulk measurements in the literature for similar coral species. With this method, local mass transfer rates can be measured for complex objects in laboratory or natural in situ flow environments. These are geometries for which only bulk measurements were previously possible.
Experiments in Fluids – Springer Journals
Published: Jun 20, 2013
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