Clustering of inertial particles in shear flows
Seminar Room 1, Newton Institute
Recently, clustering of inertial particles in turbulence has been thoroughly analyzed for statistically homogeneous and isotropic flows. The most striking result concerns the singular behavior exhibited by the radial distribution function under proper resonance conditions, showing clustering below the Kolmogorov scale. Since anisotropy is strongly depleted through the inertial range, the advecting field anisotropy may be expected in-influential for the small scale features of particle configurations. By addressing direct numerical simulations (DNS) of a statistically steady particle-laden homogeneous shear flow, we find instead that the small scales of the particle distribution are strongly affected by the geometry of velocity fluctuations at large scales. The proper statistical tool is the angular distribution function of particle pairs (ADF). Its anisotropic component may develop a singularity whose strength quantifies the anisotropy of the small scale clustering. The data provide evidence that the process is essentially anisotropic, even in the range of scales where isotropization of velocity statistics already occurred. Possible implications and connections of the above findings for turbophoresis in wall bounded shear flows will be briefly outlined using DNS data of particle laden turbulent pipe flows as example.