The influence of reynolds and froude number on the local distribution of settling, inertial particles in turbulence

TitleThe influence of reynolds and froude number on the local distribution of settling, inertial particles in turbulence
Publication TypeConference Paper
Year of Publication2020
AuthorsM Momenifar, and AD Bragg
Conference NameAiaa Scitech 2020 Forum
Date Published01/2020

Particle-laden turbulent flows appear in a diverse range of engineering systems and natural phenomena and have been widely investigated in many theoretical, numerical and experimental studies. In this study, we employ Direct Numerical Simulations (DNS) to model turbulent flow, Lagrangian approach to track particles, and Voronoï tessellation analysis as the data processing technique to examine the effects of Taylor Reynolds number, Rλ ≡ u′λ/ν (where u′, λ and ν denote the fluid r.m.s. velocity, the Taylor micro-scale and the fluid kinematic viscosity, respectively), and Froude number, Fr ≡ aη /g (where aη is the Kolmogorov acceleration, and g is the acceleration due to gravity), on the spatial distribution (clustering or preferential concentration) of small (sub-Kolmogorov scale), spherical, settling inertial particles (charac-terized by their Stokes number St ≡ τp /τη, which is the ratio of the particle response time to the fluid timescale based on the Kolmogorov scale) in homogeneous isotropic turbulence. The appearance of clustering and its strength is diagnosed by exploring the distribution of Voronoï volumes over a significant range of the three parameter space Fr = ∞, 0.3, 0.052, Rλ = 90, 224, 398 and 0 ≤ St ≤ 3 which are varied independently. In line with findings of previous studies using global measures of particle clustering, such as the Radial Distribution Function (RDF), we find that for small Voronoï volumes (corresponding to the most concentrated regions of particles), the behavior depends strongly upon St and Fr, but only weakly upon Rλ, unless St > 1. Furthermore, we observe a non-monotonic effect of gravity on St in which it decreases the clustering when St < O(1) but increases the clustering for St ≥ O(1) and this effect becomes more apparent at larger Rλ. Considering the properties of particles in clusters, defined as regions of connected Voronoï cells whose volume is less than a certain threshold, we find that the statistics of the cluster volumes depends only weakly on St, with a stronger dependence on Fr and Rλ. Comparing the local dynamics of particles in clusters to all particles in the flow reveals that while their kinetic energies are nearly the same, the clustered particles settle much faster on average, and this difference grows significantly with increasing Rλ.