Dry deposition of airborne particles in duct air flow over a backward-facing step (BFS) is commonly encountered in built environments and energy engineering. However, the understanding of particle deposition characteristics in BFS flow remains insufficient. Thus, this study investigated particle deposition behaviors and efficiency in BFS flow by using the Reynolds stress model and the discrete particle model. The influences of flow velocities, particle diameters, and duct expansion ratios on particle deposition characteristics were examined and analyzed. After numerical validation, particle deposition velocities, deposition efficiency, and deposition mechanisms in BFS duct flow were investigated in detail. The results showed that deposition velocity in BFS duct flow monotonically increases when particle diameter increases. Moreover, deposition velocity falls with increasing expansion ratio but rises with increasing air velocity. Deposition efficiency, the ratio of deposition velocity, and flow drag in a BFS duct is higher for small particles but lower for large particles as compared with a uniform duct. A higher particle deposition efficiency can be achieved by BFS with a smaller expansion ratio. The peak deposition efficiency can reach 33.6 times higher for 1-μm particles when the BFS expansion ratio is 4:3. Moreover, the “particle free zone” occurs for 50-μm particles in the BFS duct and is enlarged when the duct expansion ratio increases.
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