Interaction between Turbulence Structures and Inertial Particles in Boundary Layer: Mechanisms for Particle Transfer and Preferential Distribution

  • Cristian Marchioli
  • Maurizio Picciotto
  • Alfredo Soldati
Part of the International Centre for Mechanical Sciences book series (CISM, volume 450)


Particle transfer in the wall region of turbulent boundary layers is dominated by the coherent structures which control the turbulence regeneration cycle. Coherent structures bring particles toward the wall and away from the wall and favour particle segregation in the viscous region. In this work we examine turbulent transfer of heavy particles to the wall and away from the wall in connection with the coherent structures of the boundary layer. First, a detailed analysis of wall turbulence phenomena in a boundary layer will be provided. We will focus on the evolutionary dynamics of the structures populating the boundary layer: according to Schoppa & Hussain (1996, 1997), we will identify the following turbulence regeneration cycle: (i) low-speed streaks generate quasi-streamwise vortices, (ii) quasi-streamwise vortices generate sweeps and ejections, (iii) sweeps and ejections contribute to maintain the low-speed streaks.

We will then examine the behaviour of a dilute dispersion of heavy particles — flyashes in air — in a vertical channel flow, using pseudo-spectral direct numerical simulation to calculate the turbulent flow field at a shear Reynolds number Re τ = 150, and Lagrangian tracking to describe the dynamics of particles. Drag force, gravity and Saffman lift are used in the equation of motion for the particles, which are assumed to have no influence on the flow field. Particles interaction with wall is fully elastic. As reported in several previous investigations, we found that particles are transferred by sweeps in the wall region, where they preferentially accumulate in the low-speed streak environments, whereas ejections transfer particles from the wall region to the outer flow. We quantify the efficiency of the instantaneous realizations of the Reynolds stresses — sweeps and ejections — in transferring different size particles to the wall and away from the wall, respectively. Our findings confirm that sweeps and ejections are efficient transfer mechanisms for particles. However, the efficiency of the transfer mechanisms is conditioned by the presence of particles to be transferred. In the case of ejections, particles are more rarely available since, when in the viscous wall layer, they are concentrated under the low-speed streaks. Even though the low-speed streaks are ejection-like environments, particles remain trapped for a long time. Following the parentoffspring regeneration cycle for near-wall quasi-streamwise vortices, suggested by Brooke & Hanratty (1993), we find some evidence that the coupling of mature vortices with associated newly-born vortices is responsible for particle trapping in a sediment layer confined under the low-speed streak, between the offspring vortex and the wall. This mechanism may help to explain the existence of net particle fluxes toward the wall (turbophoretic drift). Further analysis on particle distribution in the viscous sublayer confirmed that particles build-up under the low-speed streaks is due to the trapping action of the near-wall coherent structures. It is apparent that particles are not entrained in the coherent structures but rather accumulate in the proximity of a source point at the wall, located well below the low-speed streak.


Wall Shear Stress Turbulent Boundary Layer Coherent Structure Wall Layer Turbulence Structure 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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© Springer-Verlag Wien 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  • Cristian Marchioli
    • 1
  • Maurizio Picciotto
    • 1
  • Alfredo Soldati
    • 1
  1. 1.Centro di Fluidodinamica e Idraulica and Dipartimento di Energetica e MacchineUniversity of UdineUdineItaly

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