Scale-dependent particle clustering in transitional wake flow
Peer reviewed, Journal article
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Original versionJournal of Fluid Mechanics. 2022, 940 . 10.1017/jfm.2022.201
Dispersion and mixing of inertial point particles in the unsteady and three-dimensional wake of a circular cylinder at Re=200 are investigated via one-way coupled simulations. The presence of streamwise-oriented vortical braids originating from the mode A instability in the transition regime has a profound impact on the particle dynamics and preferential concentration in the near wake. Particles trapped between the Kármán rollers and the streamwise braids form an inner layer of densely concentrated particles, while discrete particle clumps on the otherwise thin ribbon-like clusters between two consecutive Kármán rollers are another manifestation of the streamwise braids. The effect of particle inertia on the size of clusters and voids ascribed to centrifugal ejection is examined by volume-averaged Voronoï analysis. A distinct dependence on Stokes number ( Sk ) is seen at the cluster scale, whereas the void scale exhibits self-similarity. New physics-based threshold values of clusters and voids are distinctly different from the probability-distribution-based threshold at cluster scale. Increasing inertia is found to suppress particle acceleration more than deceleration. The particle velocity is further suppressed by the presence of the streamwise vortical braids. The effects of particle inertia vary non-monotonically in Sk with the strongest effect at Sk=1 when most particles tend to reside in high-strain/low-vorticity regions.