Document Type


Date of Award

Spring 5-31-2019

Degree Name

Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering - (M.S.)


Mechanical and Industrial Engineering

First Advisor

Simone Marras

Second Advisor

Chao Zhu

Third Advisor

Eon Soo Lee


With the advance of new technologies, the food industries are requiring systems that allow to produce the desired products with faster rates at cheaper costs. In this case, the study was initiated with the purpose to better understand what happens inside a package containing tomato puree when this is heated above 343 K in a tunnel pasteurizer. If the fluid must reach the thermal and microbiological condition of “pasteurization”, the system must guarantee that the temperature (around 343° Kelvin) is kept for a certain time allowing to pasteurize even the cooler package’s fluid-particle. The faster the system can heat the bottle, the higher the productivity could be but, to guarantee the same heat treatment, it may be needed a longer tunnel, raising equipment costs and space allocation.

While looking at the thermal conditions of the package, it was decided to check the existence of any convective movement along the boundaries of the very viscous fluid. The research was conducted using the OpenFoam application, an open-source CFD simulation system based on Linux OS. The study started from simple cases in 2-dimensional geometry, and gradually were added more complex situations to the model (3D, non-newtonian conditions, rotation). The simulation showed the fluid flow behavior resulting in very poor convective movements along the fluid’s boundaries; temperature profiles were studied for both vertical, horizontal and rotating cylinders proving the latter as the most efficient condition for a pasteurization heat treatment.



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