Velocity and spatial distribution of inertial particles in a turbulent channel flow

12 Apr 2019  ·  Fong Kee Onn, Amili Omid, Coletti Filippo ·

We present experimental observations of the velocity and spatial distribution of inertial particles dispersed in the turbulent downward flow through a vertical channel at $Re_{\tau} = 235$ and $335$. The working fluid is air laden with size-selected glass micro-spheres, with Stokes numbers $St = O(10)$ and $O(100)$ based on the Kolmogorov and viscous time scales, respectively... Cases at solid volume fractions ${\phi}_v = 3{\times}10^{-6}$ and $5{\times}10^{-5}$ are considered. In the more dilute regime, the particle concentration profile shows near-wall and centerline maxima compatible with a turbophoretic drift down the gradient of turbulence intensity; the particles travel at similar speed as the unladen flow except in the near-wall region; and their velocity fluctuations generally follow the unladen flow level over the channel core, exceeding it in the near-wall region. The denser regime presents substantial differences in all measured statistics: the near-wall concentration peak is much more pronounced, while the centerline maximum is absent; the mean particle velocity decreases over the logarithmic and buffer layers; and particle velocity fluctuations and deposition velocities are enhanced. Analysis of the spatial distributions of particle positions and velocities reveals dense, elongated clusters forming in the core, which tend to be preferentially aligned with the streamwise direction, and travel faster than the less concentrated particles. In the near-wall region, the particles arrange in highly elongated streaks associated to negative streamwise velocity fluctuations, several channel heights in length and spaced by $O(100)$ wall units, supporting the view that these are coupled to fluid low-speed streaks typical of wall turbulence. The particle velocity fields contain a significant component of random uncorrelated motion, more prominent for higher St and in the near-wall region. read more

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Fluid Dynamics