Research Report 2011

Compiled by: Prof Irina Masalova and Prof Rainer Haldenwang

2011 Highlights

A provisional patent for the in-line characterisation of complex fluids was filed in October by Prof Haldenwang and Dr Kotzé in collaboration with Dr Wiklund from SIK in Goteborg, Sweden. Dr Wiklund visited in December and the team demonstrated the system to university management and industry.

The group, led by Prof Haldenwang, successfully completed a project (R1.5m) funded by the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA) in collaboration with INNVENTIA (Sweden) for the measurement of sewage sludge rheology and pump performance. A large scale portable pipe viscometer was designed and constructed. Ten different sludges from treatment plants in Sweden and South Africa were tested, from which empirical relationships were established for predicting pipe flow pressure gradients in new applications.

Prof Fester successfully completed a collaborative project (2009 – 2011) with IHS-ESDU (UK) on the flow of non-Newtonian fluids through square-edged short and long orifice plates.The study enabled, by means of excellent experimental data and CFD, better understanding of the pressure losses and flow characteristics in square edged orifice plates. This ultimately provided pressure loss and discharge coefficient data and design correlations for updating the current ESDU Data Items that are used to disseminate data to design engineers.

The last three year cycle (2009 – 2011) of a collaborative project with AEL Mining Services under leadership of Prof. Masalova and Prof. Mukhopadhyay was successfully completed. This joint work has now been running for 11 years and relates to the development of new explosive emulsion formulations with improved stability and flow characteristics. A new five year cycle of collaboration was signed between AEL and CPUTAEL sponsorship of R600 000 for 2012, including THRIP funds, will allow continuation of the research and provide funding for three doctoral and two masters students commencing in 2012.

Prof Chhabra from IIT Kanpur India visited the group and presented a workshop on “Ethics in Engineering” to staff and students in the Faculty.