Transition and self-sustained turbulence in dilute suspensions of finite-size particles

Authors: Lashgari, I., Picano, F., Brandt, L.B.
Document Type: Article
Pubstate: Published
Journal: Theoretical and Applied Mechanics Letters
Volume: 5   121-125
Year: 2015


We study the transition to turbulence of channel flow of finite-size particle suspensions at low volume fraction, i.e., Φ ≈ 0.001. The critical Reynolds number above which turbulence is sustained reduces to Re ≈ 1675, in the presence of few particles, independently of the initial condition, a value lower than that of the corresponding single-phase flow, i.e., Re ≈ 1775. In the dilute suspension, the initial arrangement of the particles is important to trigger the transition at a fixed Reynolds number and particle volume fraction. As in single phase flows, streamwise elongated disturbances are initially induced in the flow. If particles can induce oblique disturbances with high enough energy within a certain time, the streaks breakdown, flow experiences the transition to turbulence and the particle trajectories become chaotic. Otherwise, the streaks decay in time and the particles immigrate towards the channel core in a laminar flow.