Preferential particle concentration in wall-bounded turbulence with zero skin friction
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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OriginalversjonPhysics of fluids. 2017, 29 . 10.1063/1.4998547
Inertial particles dispersed in turbulence distribute themselves unevenly. Besides their tendency to segregate near walls, they also concentrate preferentially in wall-parallel planes. We explore the latter phenomenon in a tailor-made flow with the view to examine the homogeneity and anisotropy of particle clustering in the absence of mean shear as compared with conventional, i.e., sheared, wall turbulence. Inertial particles with some different Stokes numbers are suspended in a turbulent Couette-Poiseuille flow, in which one of the walls moves such that the shear rate vanishes at that wall. The anisotropies of the velocity and vorticity fluctuations are therefore qualitatively different from those at the opposite non-moving wall, along which quasi-coherent streaky structures prevail, similarly as in turbulent pipe and channel flows. Preferential particle concentration is observed near both walls. The inhomogeneity of the concentration is caused by the strain-vorticity selection mechanism, whereas the anisotropy originates from coherent flow structures. In order to analyse anisotropic clustering, a two-dimensional Shannon entropy method is developed. Streaky particle structures are observed near the stationary wall where the flow field resembles typical wall-turbulence, whereas particle clusters near the moving friction-free wall are similar to randomly oriented clusters in homogeneous isotropic turbulence, albeit with a modest streamwise inclination. In the absence of mean-shear and near-wall streaks, the observed anisotropy is ascribed to the imprint of large-scale flow structures which reside in the bulk flow and are global in nature.