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Using a supercomputer to find the best way to mix two fluids

Een supercomputer gebruiken om de beste manier te vinden om twee vloeistoffen te mengenPhysical Assessment Fluids (2022). DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevFluids.7.073904″ width=”688″ height=”530″/>

Comparison of last snapshots at the end of the optimization horizon. Credit: Physical Assessment Liquids (2022). DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevFluids.7.073904

A pair of researchers, one at the Max Planck Institute of Brain Research, the other at Imperial College, have found more efficient ways to mix two liquids using simulations run on a supercomputer. In their article published in the magazine Physical Assessment LiquidsMaximilian Eggl and Peter Schmid describe the factors they took into account when creating their simulations and the strategies they believed worked best.

Mixing two liquids is very common, from mixing cream to coffee, to baking a cake, to making cement. Mixing two liquids to create a fairly homogeneous solution is vital to a wide range of human endeavors. But what’s the best way to do this? People often use a single round stirrer in their coffee, bakers use a variety of beaters and industrialists use a wide variety of shaped stirrers and sometimes more than one. In this new effort, Eggl and Schmid looked to see if they could find a more general approach to efficiently mixing two liquids.

The researchers’ work involved starting with a simple simulation where there were two pure solutions in a cylindrical container, separated in the middle — and two stirrers, one in each solution. The simulation showed how the two liquids mixed while the stirrers were both moved around the cylinder at a constant speed. The researchers then ran multiple instances of the simulation, changing one or more factors before each run, for example to speed things up or change the path of the stirrers or their shape, all in an effort to optimize mixing. As each simulation ran, the researchers noted how efficiently the given factors worked together to mix the two solutions.

Credit: Maximilian F. Eggl et al, Physical Assessment Liquids (2022). DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevFluids.7.073904.

Over time, the researchers found that some factors worked better than others — for example, one stirrer moves faster than the other or has certain paddle shapes. They also found that stirrers with smooth edges generally worked better than those with sharp edges. And they found it was better to put one stirrer in a higher position and it also helped to move the stirrers in opposite directions.

They also found that adding a little shaking at the end of the stirring caused more vortices and thus more mixing. The research couple conclude by suggesting that their approach can be used to optimize the mixing of solutions in specific applications to increase efficiency and create more enriched products.

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More information:
Maximilian F. Eggl et al, Mixing by stirring: optimizing shapes and strategies, Physical Assessment Liquids (2022). DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevFluids.7.073904. On Arxiv: arxiv.org/abs/2108.07064

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Quote: Using a supercomputer to find the best way to mix two liquids (2022, August 3), retrieved August 3, 2022 from https://phys.org/news/2022-08-supercomputer-fluids.html

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