Computational fluid dynamics simulation of virtual impactor performance: Comparison to experiment Academic Article uri icon


  • Computational fluid dynamics (CFD) simulations were performed on a slit virtual impactor (SVI). A full-section planar model of the critical zone (nozzle) was constructed based on the measured values of geometrical dimensions of the SVI. Simulation was performed for a flow rate of 20.33SCFH (standard cubic feet per hour) that corresponded to a Reynolds number value of 448 in the experiment. Impactor efficiency curve was computed and compared to experimental data. Details of internal wall losses were characterized and the wall loss curve was generated. Performance characteristics obtained from simulation results are in good agreement to the observed experimental trend over the complete range of Stokes numbers and the exact value of the cut-point Stokes number. Tracks for lower Stokes number particles faithfully reproduce the trend observed in the experiment, namely the regional demarcation of particle origin in the inlet nozzle, based on their final destination. Further, the effect of crossing trajectories that was visualized in the experiment for higher Stokes number particles of value of ~ 50 was captured. Additional details from the simulation results indicated that the onset of effect of crossing trajectories occurred for particles larger than a Stokes number of 6 and the collection efficiency for the above device was nearly unity over a wide range of Stokes number (Stk ~ 2 to 125) values. 2008 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

published proceedings


author list (cited authors)

  • Hari, S., & Hassan, Y. A.

citation count

  • 4

complete list of authors

  • Hari, Sridhar||Hassan, Yassin A

publication date

  • December 2008