Preprint Article Version 1 Preserved in Portico This version is not peer-reviewed

A CFD-DEM Model for Particle Transport in Airways

Version 1 : Received: 28 November 2022 / Approved: 28 November 2022 / Online: 28 November 2022 (07:29:49 CET)
Version 2 : Received: 18 April 2023 / Approved: 18 April 2023 / Online: 18 April 2023 (10:25:16 CEST)

How to cite: Islam, M.S.; Larpruenrudee, P.; Rahman, M.M.; Sauret, E.; Gu, Y. A CFD-DEM Model for Particle Transport in Airways. Preprints 2022, 2022110500. Islam, M.S.; Larpruenrudee, P.; Rahman, M.M.; Sauret, E.; Gu, Y. A CFD-DEM Model for Particle Transport in Airways. Preprints 2022, 2022110500.


The fluid flow field at the upper airways is highly complex due to the complex structure of the airway. The inhaled particle flow, the air streamline and the interaction of the continuum and discrete phase could significantly affect the transport behaviour of the inhaled particles. A range of analytical, mathematical and computational fluid dynamics (CFD) models analyzed the airflow and particle transport in different idealized and asymmetric airway models. A precise understanding of the continuum and discrete phase interaction in realistic human airways is missing, and this study aims to develop a CFD-DEM model for particle transport in realistic airways. This study uses the CFD model for the continuum phase and the discrete element method (DEM) for the discrete phase. A soft sphere approach is used for the interaction of the discrete phase. Proper validation is performed for particle transport efficiency. The CFD-DEM model analyzed the particle transport in an idealized and realistic airway model, and different methods are used to analyze the transport behaviour. During the particle-particle interaction, a stagnation point and a high-pressure zone are observed at the airway model's carinal angle. The numerical results report higher deposition efficiency (DE) for particle-particle interaction than without interaction. The flow field becomes highly complex with the spring constant values, and higher DE is found for high spring constant values. The spring dashpot friction-dshf method shows higher deposition at the upper part of the airways than other interaction methods. The findings of this study and more case-specific analysis would improve the knowledge of aerosol transport in airways and the health risk assessment of the patient.


CFD-DEM; Particle-particle interaction; Upper airway; DE; Spring constant


Engineering, Mechanical Engineering

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