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Agglomeration of inertial particles in a random rotating symmetric straining flow

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Yasmine Ammar, Emeritus Professor Mike Reeks


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This paper is concerned with the development and validation of a simple Lagrangian model for particle agglomeration in a turbulent flow involving the collision of particles in a sequence of correlated straining and vortical structures which simulate the Kolmogorov small scales of motion of the turbulence responsible for particle pair dispersion and collision. In this particular study we consider the collision rate of monodisperse spherical particles in a symmetric (pure) straining flow which is randomly rotated to create an isotropic flow. The model is similar to the classical model of Saffman and Turner (S&T) (1956) for the collision (agglomeration) of tracer particles suspended in a turbulent flow. However unlike S&T, the straining flow is not frozen in time persisting only for timescales ∼Kolmogorov timescale. Furthermore, we consider the collision of inertial particles as well as tracer particles, and study their behavior not only at the collision boundary but also in its vicinity. In the simulation, particles are injected continuously at the boundaries of the straining flow, the size of the straining region being typical of the Kolmogorov length scale ηK of the turbulence. For steady state conditions, we calculate the flux of particles colliding with a test particle at the centre of the straining flow and consider its dependence on the inertia of the colliding particles (characterized by the particle Stokes number, St). The model replicates the segregation and accumulation observed in DNS and in particular the maximum segregation for St ∼ 1 (where St is the ratio of the particle response time to the Kolmogorov timescale). We also calculate the contributions of the various turbulent forces in the momentum balance equation for satellite particles and show for instance that for small Stokes number, there is a balance between turbulent diffusion and turbophoresis (gradient of kinetic stresses) which in turn is responsible for the build-up of concentration at the collision boundary. As found in previous studies, for the case of inertialess tracer particles, the collision rate turns out to be significantly smaller than the S&T prediction due to a lowering of the concentration at the collision boundary compared to the fully mixed value. The increase in collision rate for St ∼ 0.5 is shown to be a combination of particle segregation (build-up of concentration near the collision boundary) and the decorrelation of the relative velocity between the local fluid and a colliding particle. The difference from the S&T value for the agglomeration kernel is shown to be a consequence of the choice of perfectly absorbing boundary conditions at collision and the influence of the time scale of the turbulence (eddy lifetime). We draw the analogy between turbulent agglomeration and particle deposition in a fully developed turbulent boundary layer.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Ammar Y, Reeks MW

Publication type: Article

Journal: International Journal of Multiphase Flow

Year: 2009

Volume: 35

Issue: 9

Pages: 840-853

Print publication date: 01/09/2009

ISSN (print): 0301-9322

ISSN (electronic): 1879-3533

Publisher: Elsevier


DOI: 10.1016/j.ijmultiphaseflow.2009.05.005


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