ABSTRACTComputational tools such as Computational Fluid Dynamics can be useful to predict the flow of pulp suspensions. The present study aims to simulate numerically the flow of concentrated pulp suspensions using CFD tools. A commercial CFD software was used, Ansys Fluent, to simulate the turbulent flow of Eucalyptus and Pine suspensions. A pseudo-homogenous approach was followed by considering the pulp viscosity as a function of shear rate and pulp consistency. The model takes into account the existence of a very thin layer surrounding the core region, near the pipe wall. It is studied the influence of the presence of fibers in the lubrication layer, by considering that the pulp consistency depends on the distance to the pipe wall. Two low-Reynolds number (LRN) k-ϵ turbulence models, Abe-Kondoh-Nagano and Chang-Hsieh-Chen, implemented in Ansys Fluent by using User-Defined-Functions, were studied. The drag reduction effect observed experimentally could be reproduced by both models. The LRN models were modified taking into account the modifications proposed in literature for the turbulent flow of polymers and solid particles when a drag reduction effect is present. The models were validated by comparing the calculated pressure drop with the experimental values.

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