We present a computational study of cluster-induced turbulence (CIT), where the production of fluid-phase kinetic energy results entirely from momentum coupling with finite-size inertial particles. A separation of length scales must be established when evaluating the particle dynamics in order to distinguish between the continuous mesoscopic velocity field and the uncorrelated particle motion. To accomplish this, an adaptive spatial filter is employed on the Lagrangian data with an averaging volume that varies with the local particle-phase volume fraction. This filtering approach ensures sufficient particle sample sizes in order to obtain meaningful statistics while remaining small enough to avoid capturing variations in the mesoscopic particle field. Two-point spatial correlations are computed to assess the validity of the filter in extracting meaningful statistics. The method is used to investigate, for the first time, the properties of a statistically stationary gravity-driven particle-laden flow, where particle–particle and fluid–particle interactions control the multiphase dynamics. Results from fully developed CIT show a strong correlation between the local volume fraction and the granular temperature, with maximum values located at the upstream boundary of clusters (i.e. where maximum compressibility of the particle velocity field exists), while negligible particle agitation is observed within clusters.
Capecelatro et al. supplementary movie