Inertial particle acceleration in strained turbulence

C. -M. Lee, A. Gylfason, P. Perlekar, F. Toschi

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The dynamics of inertial particles in turbulence is modelled and investigated by means of direct numerical simulation of an axisymmetrically expanding homogeneous turbulent strained flow. This flow can mimic the dynamics of particles close to stagnation points. The influence of mean straining flow is explored by varying the dimensionless strain rate parameter Sk 0 /ϵ 0 from 0.2 to 20, where S is the mean strain rate, k 0 and ϵ 0 are the turbulent kinetic energy and energy dissipation rate at the onset of straining. We report results relative to the acceleration variances and probability density functions for both passive and inertial particles. A high mean strain is found to have a significant effect on the acceleration variance both directly by an increase in the frequency of the turbulence and indirectly through the coupling of the fluctuating velocity and the mean flow field. The influence of the strain on the normalized particle acceleration probability distribution functions is more subtle. For the case of a passive particle we can approximate the acceleration variance with the aid of rapid-distortion theory and obtain good agreement with simulation data. For the case of inertial particles we can write a formal expression for the accelerations. The magnitude changes in the inertial particle acceleration variance and the effect on the probability density function are then discussed in a wider context for comparable flows, where the effects of the mean flow geometry and of the anisotropy at small scales are present.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)31-53
JournalJournal of Fluid Mechanics
Publication statusPublished - 12 Nov 2015


  • particle/fluid flow
  • turbulence simulation
  • turbulence theory


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