Influence of particle mass fraction over the turbulent behaviour of an incompressible particle-laden flow

Carlos Alberto Duque-Daza, Jesus Ramirez-Pastran, Santiago Lain

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The presence of spherical solid particles immersed in an incompressible turbulent flow was numerically investigated from the perspective of the particle mass fraction (PMF or ϕm), a measure of the particle-to-fluid mass ratio. Although a number of different changes have been reported to be obtained by the presence of solid particles in incompressible turbulent flows, the present study reports the findings of varying ϕm in the the turbulent behaviour of the flow, including aspects such as: turbulent statistics, skin-friction coefficient, and the general dynamics of a particle-laden flow. For this purpose, a particle-laden turbulent channel flow transporting solid particles at three different friction Reynolds numbers, namely Reτ=180, 365, and 950, with a fixed particle volume fraction of ϕv=10−3, was employed as conceptual flow model and simulated using large eddy simulations. The value adopted for ϕv allowed the use of a two-way coupling approach between the particles and the flow or carrier phase. Three different values of ϕm were explored in this work ϕm≈1,2.96, and 12.4. Assessment of the effect of ϕm was performed by examining changes of mean velocity profiles, velocity fluctuation profiles, and a number of other relevant turbulence statistics. Our results show that attenuation of turbulence activity of the carrier phase is attained, and that such attenuation increases with ϕm at fixed Reynolds numbers and ϕv. For the smallest Reynolds number case considered, flows carrying particles with higher ϕm exhibited lower energy requirements to sustain constant fluid mass flow rate conditions. By examining the flow velocity field, as well as instantaneous velocity components contours, it is shown that the attenuation acts even on the largest scales of the flow dynamics, and not only at the smaller levels. These findings reinforce the concept of a selective stabilising effect induced by the solid particles, particularly enhanced by high values of ϕm, which could eventually be exploited for improvement of energetic efficiency of piping or equivalent particles transport systems.
Original languageEnglish
Article number374
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 21 Oct 2021


  • drag reduction
  • large-eddy simulations
  • particle-laden channel flow
  • turbulence modulation
  • two-way coupling


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