Flow about a fluid sphere at low to moderate Reynolds numbers Article (Web of Science)


  • The steady-state equations of motion are solved for a fluid sphere translating in a quiescent medium. A semi-analytical series truncation method is employed in conjunction with a cubic finite-element scheme. The range of Reynolds numbers investigated is from 0.5 to 50. The range of viscosity ratios is from 0 (gas bubble) to 107 (solid sphere). The flow structure and the drag coefficients agree closely with the limited available experimental measurements and also compare favourably with published finite-difference solutions. The strength of the internal circulation was found to increase with increasing Reynolds number. The flow patterns and the drag coefficient show little variation with the interior Reynolds number. Based on the numerical results, predictive equations for drag coefficients are recommended for both moderate- and low-Reynolds-number flows.


publication date

  • 1987

published in

number of pages

  • 17

start page

  • 1

end page

  • 18


  • 177