Scaling-up ultrasound standing wave enhanced sedimentation filters

Jeff E. Prest, Bernard J. Treves Brown, Peter R. Fielden, Stephen J. Wilkinson, Jeremy J. Hawkes

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    Particle concentration and filtration is a key stage in a wide range of processing industries and also one that can be present challenges for high throughput, continuous operation. Here we demonstrate some features which increase the efficiency of ultrasound enhanced sedimentation and could enable the technology the potential to be scaled up. In this work, 20 mm piezoelectric plates were used to drive 100 mm high chambers formed from single structural elements. The coherent structural resonances were able to drive particles (yeast cells) in the water to nodes throughout the chamber. Ultrasound enhanced sedimentation was used to demonstrate the efficiency of the system (>99% particle clearance). Sub-wavelength pin protrusions were used for the contacts between the resonant chamber and other elements. The pins provided support and transferred power, replacing glue which is inefficient for power transfer. Filtration energies of ∼4 J/ml of suspension were measured. A calculation of thermal convection indicates that the circulation could disrupt cell alignment in ducts >35 mm high when a 1 K temperature gradient is present; we predict higher efficiencies when this maximum height is observed. For the acoustic design, although modelling was minimal before construction, the very simple construction allowed us to form 3D models of the nodal patterns in the fluid and the duct structure. The models were compared with visual observations of particle movement, Chladni figures and scanning laser vibrometer mapping. This demonstrates that nodal planes in the fluid can be controlled by the position of clamping points and that the contacts could be positioned to increase the efficiency and reliability of particle manipulations in standing waves.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)260-270
    Number of pages11
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2015


    • Acoustic radiation force
    • Acoustofluidic
    • Filtration
    • Resonant chambers
    • Scale-up


    Dive into the research topics of 'Scaling-up ultrasound standing wave enhanced sedimentation filters'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

    Cite this