Velocity and spatial distribution of inertial particles in a turbulent channel flow Article (Web of Science)


  • We present experimental observations of the velocity and spatial distribution of inertial particles dispersed in turbulent downward flow through a vertical channel at friction Reynolds numbers $\mathit{Re}_{\unicode[STIX]{x1D70F}}=235$ and 335. The working fluid is air laden with size-selected glass microspheres, having Stokes numbers $St=\mathit{O}(10)$ and $\mathit{O}(100)$ when based on the Kolmogorov and viscous time scales, respectively. Cases at solid volume fractions $\unicode[STIX]{x1D719}_{v}=3\times 10^{-6}$ and $5\times 10^{-5}$ are considered. In the more dilute regime, the particle concentration profile shows near-wall and centreline maxima compatible with a turbophoretic drift down the gradient of turbulence intensity; the particles travel at speed similar to that of the unladen flow except in the near-wall region; and their velocity fluctuations generally follow the unladen flow level over the channel core, exceeding it in the near-wall region. The denser regime presents substantial differences in all measured statistics: the near-wall concentration peak is much more pronounced, while the centreline maximum is absent; the mean particle velocity decreases over the logarithmic and buffer layers; and particle velocity fluctuations and deposition velocities are enhanced. An analysis of the spatial distributions of particle positions and velocities reveals different behaviours in the core and near-wall regions. In the channel core, dense clusters form which are somewhat elongated, tend to be preferentially aligned with the vertical/streamwise direction and travel faster than the less concentrated particles. In the near-wall region, the particles arrange in highly elongated streaks associated with negative streamwise velocity fluctuations, several channel heights in length and spaced by $\mathit{O}(100)$ wall units, supporting the view that these are coupled to fluid low-speed streaks typical of wall turbulence. The particle velocity fields contain a significant component of random uncorrelated motion, more prominent for higher $St$ and in the near-wall region.


publication date

  • 2019

published in

number of pages

  • 39

start page

  • 367

end page

  • 406


  • 872