Dynamics of a Pair of Ellipsoidal Microparticles under a Uniform Magnetic Field


Under a uniform magnetic field, magnetic particles tend to form chains, clusters or columns due to particle-particle interactions. Non-spherical magnetic particles dispersed in a liquid medium show different rheological properties. However, there is a lack of knowledge about the fundamental mechanism of particle-particle interactions of non-spherical particles under a uniform magnetic field. In this work, we numerically investigate the particle-particle interactions and relative motions of a pair of paramagnetic elliptical particles by using direct numerical simulations to create two-dimensional models that resolve the magnetic and flow fields around the finite-sized particles. The modeling is based on the finite element method and arbitrary Lagrangian-Eulerian approach with full consideration of particle-fluid-magnetic field interaction. The effects of initial position and aspect ratio of the particles are investigated. The results show that the particles spend much more time under global reorientation than local magneto-orientation. Larger initial relative angles and distances, and larger aspect ratios, tend to require more time to form a stable chain. The particle-particle interactions and relative motion of a pair of elliptical particles in this study provide insights into the particle alignment and chaining processes under uniform magnetic fields, which are closely related to the response of magneto-rheological fluids to magnetic fields.


Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering

Research Center/Lab(s)

Center for Research in Energy and Environment (CREE)

Keywords and Phrases

elliptical particles; magnetic field; magnetic particles; microfluidics; numerical simulations; particle interactions

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

0960-1317; 1361-6439

Document Type

Article - Journal

Document Version


File Type





© 2019 Institute of Physics - IOP Publishing, All rights reserved.

Publication Date

01 Aug 2019