Impact of the Peterlin approximation on polymer dynamics in turbulent flows

D. Vincenzi, P. Perlekar, L. Biferale, F. Toschi

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We study the impact of the Peterlin approximation on the statistics of the end-to-end separation of polymers in a turbulent flow. The finitely extensible nonlinear elastic (FENE) model and the FENE model with the Peterlin approximation (FENE-P) are numerically integrated along a large number of Lagrangian trajectories resulting from a direct numerical simulation of three-dimensional homogeneous isotropic turbulence. Although the FENE-P model yields results in qualitative agreement with those of the FENE model, quantitative differences emerge. The steady-state probability of large extensions is overestimated by the FENE-P model. The alignment of polymers with the eigenvectors of the rate-of-strain tensor and with the direction of vorticity is weaker when the Peterlin approximation is used. At large Weissenberg numbers, the correlation times of both the extension and of the orientation of polymers are underestimated by the FENE-P model.

Original languageEnglish
Article number053004
Number of pages11
JournalPhysical Review E - Statistical, Nonlinear, and Soft Matter Physics
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 5 Nov 2015


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