On the collision rate of small particles in isotropic turbulence. II. Finite inertia case

Yong Zhou, Anthony S. Wexler, Lian Ping Wang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

112 Scopus citations


Numerical experiments have been performed to study the geometric collision rate of heavy particles with finite inertia. The turbulent flow was generated by direct numerical integration of the full Navier-Stokes equations. The collision kernel peaked at a particle response time between the Kolmogorov and the large-eddy turnover times, implying that both the large-scale and small-scale fluid motions contribute, although in very different manners, to the collision rate. Both numerical results for frozen turbulent fields and a stochastic theory show that the collision kernel approaches the kinetic theory of Abrahamson [Chem. Eng. Sci. 30, 1371 (1975)] only at very large τp/Te, where τp is the particle response time and Te is the flow integral time scale. Our results agree with those of Sundaram and Collins [J. Fluid Mech. 335, 75 (1997)] for an evolving flow. A rapid increase of the collision kernel with the particle response time was observed for small τpk, where Tk is the flow Kolmogorov time scale. A small inertia of τpk = 0.5 can lead to an order of magnitude increase in the collision kernel relative to the zero-inertia particles. A scaling law for the collision kernel at small τpk was proposed and confirmed numerically by varying the particle size, inertial response time, and flow Reynolds number. A leading-order theory for small τpk was developed, showing that the enhanced collision is mainly a result of the nonuniform particle concentration that results from the interaction of heavy particles with local flow microstructures.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1206-1216
Number of pages11
JournalPhysics of Fluids
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 1998
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Fluid Flow and Transfer Processes
  • Computational Mechanics
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Physics and Astronomy(all)
  • Condensed Matter Physics


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