Particle-resolved direct numerical simulation of homogeneous isotropic turbulence modified by small fixed spheres

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

37 Citations (Scopus)
5 Downloads (Pure)


A statistically stationary homogeneous isotropic turbulent flow modified by 64 small fixed non-Stokesian spherical particles is considered. The particle diameter is approximately twice the Kolmogorov length scale, while the particle volume fraction is 0.001. The Taylor Reynolds number of the corresponding unladen flow is 32. The particle-laden flow has been obtained by a direct numerical simulation based on a discretization of the incompressible Navier-Stokes equations on 64 spherical grids overset on a Cartesian grid. The global (space- and time-averaged) turbulence kinetic energy is attenuated by approximately 9 %, which is less than expected. The turbulence dissipation rate on the surfaces of the particles is enhanced by two orders of magnitude. More than 5 % of the total dissipation occurs in only 0.1 % of the flow domain. The budget of the turbulence kinetic energy has been computed, as a function of the distance to the nearest particle centre. The budget illustrates how energy relatively far away from particles is transported towards the surfaces of the particles, where it is dissipated by the (locally enhanced) turbulence dissipation rate. The energy flux towards the particles is dominated by turbulent transport relatively far away from particles, by viscous diffusion very close to the particles, and by pressure diffusion in a significant region in between. The skewness and flatness factors of the pressure, velocity and velocity gradient have also been computed. The global flatness factor of the longitudinal velocity gradient, which characterizes the intermittency of small scales, is enhanced by a factor of six. In addition, several point-particle simulations based on the Schiller-Naumann drag correlation have been performed. A posteriori tests of the point-particle simulations, comparisons in which the particle-resolved results are regarded as the standard, show that, in this case, the point-particle model captures both the turbulence attenuation and the fraction of the turbulence dissipation rate due to particles reasonably well, provided the (arbitrary) size of the fluid volume over which each particle force is distributed is suitably chosen.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)40-85
Number of pages46
JournalJournal of Fluid Mechanics
Publication statusPublished - 10 Jun 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • isotropic turbulence
  • particle/fluid flow
  • turbulence simulation


Dive into the research topics of 'Particle-resolved direct numerical simulation of homogeneous isotropic turbulence modified by small fixed spheres'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this