The motion of tracer fibers settling in a suspension made optically transparent using an index-of refraction matching technique is studied as a function of concentration, aspect ratio, fluid viscosity, and fiber length distribution. At Re ∼ O(1), two different regimes of sedimentation are clearly identified. For small volume fractions we find that fibers settle with their long-axis preferentially in the horizontal state. With increasing volume fraction, fibers settle preferentially with their long-axis aligned in the direction of gravity. These findings are strikingly different than for those conducted with Re → 0 and qualitatively support the numerical simulations reported by Kuusela et al.
- Fluid mechanics