Nature of project: experimental, data analysis
Available to students on full-time physics degree schemes or joint students.
Sedimentation of particles from a liquid suspension is a process that occurs on a wide range of time and spatial scales: The cliffs of Constitution Hill and the coastline towards Clarach show prominent alternating beds of sandstone and mudstone which were deposited on the ocean floor by turbidity currents caused by under-sea avalanches on the continental shelf. In technical processes, e.g. in chemical reactors, sedimentation can cause a local build-up of reactants, which can degrade product quality and, in the worst case, lead to escalating reactions when a lot of sedimented material is released at once. In this project, we will investigate the dynamics of sedimentation experimentally and derive empirical models to describe the process. A range of particulates of different grain size and density will be sedimented under a variety of flow conditions, including deposition near obstacles and in channels.
A successful project will develop beyond the above in one/some of the following directions:
The models derived will be used to predict sedimentation behaviour in subsequent experiments to test their validity, and extrapolations towards geological or technical processes will be attempted.
When considering where to take your project, please bear in mind the time available. It is preferable to do fewer things well than to try many and not get conclusive results on any of them. However, sometimes it is useful to have a couple of strands of investigation in parallel to work on in case delays occur.
This project is only available as a Y3 project.
Please speak to Rudi Winter if you consider doing this project.
Initial literature for students:
This field is well studied, but the experimental conditions are critical and make reproducibility difficult at times. This is a project for very conscientious and careful experimentalists to ensure trends will be observable.
|milestone||to be completed by|
|Drawings for fishtank and obstacles||end of November|
|Selection of materials from static sedimentation experiments||Christmas|
|Main experimental work concluded||mid-March|
|Derivation and testing of models||Easter|
Students taking this project will have to submit a full risk assessment form