European Turbulence Conference 14

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Effect of turbulent fluctuations on the drag force and boundary layer of a towed sphere

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The impact of turbulent fluctuations on the forces exerted by a fluid on a towed spherical particle is investigated by means of high-resolution direct numerical simulations. The measurements are carried out using a novel scheme to integrate the two-way coupling between the particle and the incompressible surrounding fluid flow maintained in a high-Reynolds-number turbulent regime. The main idea consists in combining a Fourier pseudo-spectral method for the fluid with an immersed-boundary technique to impose the no-slip boundary condition on the surface of the particle. Using this method it is shown that the average drag force increases as a function of the turbulent intensity and the particle Reynolds number. This increase is significantly larger than predicted by standard drag correlations based on laminar upstream flows. It is found that the relevant parameter is the ratio of the viscous boundary layer thickness to the dissipation scale of the ambient turbulent flow. The drag enhancement can be motivated by the modification of the mean velocity and pressure profile around the sphere by small scale turbulent fluctuations.


Holger Homann    
Université de Nice-Sophia Antipolis

Jérémie Bec    

Rainer Grauer    
Ruhr-Universität Bochum


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