Some insight into the mechanism of solid-particle transport by peristalsis is sought experimentally through a two-dimensional model study (§ 2). The peristaltic wave is characterized by a single bolus sweeping by the particle, resulting in oscillatory motion of the particle. Because of fluid-particle interaction and the significant curvature in the wall wave, the peristaltic flow is highly nonlinear and time dependent.
For a neutrally buoyant particle propelled along the axis of the channel by a single bolus, the net particle displacement can be either positive or negative. The instantaneous force acting upon the particle and the resultant particle trajectory are sensitive to the Reynolds number of the flow (§ 3 and 4). The net forward movement of the particle increases slightly with the particle size but decreases rapidly as the gap width of the bolus increases. The combined dynamic effects of the gap width and Reynolds number on the particle displacement are studied (§ 5). Changes in both the amplitude and the form of the wave have significant effects on particle motion. A decrease in wave amplitude along with an increase in wave speed may lead to a net retrograde particle motion (§ 6). For a non-neutrally buoyant particle, the gravitational effects on particle transport are modelled according to the ratio of the Froude number to the Reynolds number. The interaction of the particle with the wall for this case is also explored (§ 7).
When the centre of the particle is off the longitudinal axis, the particle will undergo rotation as well as translation. Lateral migration of the particle is found to occur in the curvilinear flow region of the bolus, leading to a reduction in the net longitudinal transport (§ 8). The interaction of the curvilinear flow field with the particle is further discussed through comparison of flow patterns around a particle with the corresponding cases without a particle (§ 9).
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