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Efficient simulation of rarefied gas flow past a particle: A boundary element method for the linearized G13 equations

Padrino, Juan C.; Sprittles, James E.; Lockerby, Duncan A.


Juan C. Padrino

James E. Sprittles

Duncan A. Lockerby


We develop a novel boundary integral formulation for the steady linearized form of Grad's 13-moment (G13) equations applied to a uniform flow of rarefied gas past solid objects at low Mach numbers. Changing variables leads to a system of boundary integral equations that combines integral equations from Stokes flow and potential theory. The strong coupling between the stress deviator and heat flux featured by the G13 equations demands adding a boundary integral equation for the pressure. We specialize the integral equations for an axisymmetric flow with no swirl and derive the axisymmetric fundamental solutions for the pressure equation, seemingly absent in the Stokes-flow literature. Using the boundary element method to achieve a numerical solution, we apply this formulation to streaming flow of rarefied gas past prolate or oblate spheroids with their axis of symmetry parallel to the free stream, considering various aspect ratios and Knudsen numbers—the ratio of the molecules' mean free path to the macroscopic length scale. After validating the method, we obtain the surface profiles of the deviations from the unperturbed state of the traction, heat flux, pressure, temperature, and slip velocity, as well as the drag on the spheroid, observing convergence with the number of elements. Rarefaction phenomena, such as temperature jump and polarization, Knudsen effects in the drag, and velocity slippage, are predicted. This method opens a new path for investigating other gas non-equilibrium phenomena that can be modeled by the same set of equations, such as thermophoresis, and has application in nano- and microfluidics.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date May 14, 2022
Online Publication Date Jun 17, 2022
Publication Date 2022-06
Deposit Date Dec 13, 2022
Journal Physics of Fluids
Print ISSN 1070-6631
Electronic ISSN 1089-7666
Publisher AIP Publishing
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 34
Issue 6
Article Number 062011
Keywords Condensed Matter Physics; Fluid Flow and Transfer Processes; Mechanics of Materials; Computational Mechanics; Mechanical Engineering
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