Water is a “Newtonian” fluid, in which the pressure drop is proportional to the velocity and viscosity. However, most wastewater sludges exhibit non-Newtonian characteristics that are best modeled as Bingham plastics. The approach to modeling sludge flows described in this poster accounts for the much larger values of yield stress at low flow velocities.
A Bingham plastic exhibits an initial resistance to flow, followed by a straight-line relationship between shear stress and flow. As the velocity approaches the transition to turbulent flow, it begins to show characteristics similar to Newtonian fluids. Each type of sludge resists movement with different intensity. Below the material’s Yield Stress (Ys), the Bingham plastic retains a solid-like matrix and no movement is observed. Above the Ys, the material will induce friction losses at a rate proportional to the shear stress as flow increases. In clean water, shear in proportion to shear stress is identified as the viscosity. For a Bingham plastic, the Coefficient of Rigidity (Rc) identifies this relationship.