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Holjević, T., Travaš, V., Družeta, S., Holjević, D.

Experimental Assessment of Drag Coefficient for Quasi-Radially-Symmetric Microplastic Particles Sinking in Water Stream
Journal of Marine Science and Engineering, (2022),, (quartile Q1)


Abstract: Microplastics (MPs) are found to be omnipresent in marine environments and their production and disposal are constantly increasing. In order to control and mitigate their negative effects on the environment, it is important to understand the processes involved in their transport and sinking. Most of the conducted experimental studies on MP in water have focused on exploring the settling behavior of MP particles under static flow conditions. This paper presents the results of an experimental study of MP particles in a horizontal stream of water. A series of laboratory experiments were carried out to measure the drag coefficient of quasi-radially-symmetric MP particles with different shapes (spheres, cubes, and crosses) and sizes (1.5 to 3.0 mm). In the study, the relationship between the drag coefficient and flow conditions represented by the local Reynolds number is investigated. The experimental procedure was validated, and a total of 400 measurements were performed. Values of the measured drag coefficient ranged from 0.8 to 2.5 for the values of Re from 40 to 300. The results show that the shape of MP particles in the water stream considerably influences the particle drag coefficient, with a rather complex relationship between the drag coefficient and flow conditions.