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Predicting viscous-range velocity gradient dynamics in large-eddy simulations of turbulence

  • Perry L. Johnson (a1) and Charles Meneveau (a1)

The detailed dynamics of small-scale turbulence are not directly accessible in large-eddy simulations (LES), posing a modelling challenge, because many micro-physical processes such as deformation of aggregates, drops, bubbles and polymers dynamics depend strongly on the velocity gradient tensor, which is dominated by the turbulence structure in the viscous range. In this paper, we introduce a method for coupling existing stochastic models for the Lagrangian evolution of the velocity gradient tensor with coarse-grained fluid simulations to recover small-scale physics without resorting to direct numerical simulations (DNS). The proposed approach is implemented in LES of turbulent channel flow and detailed comparisons with DNS are carried out. An application to modelling the fate of deformable, small (sub-Kolmogorov) droplets at negligible Stokes number and low volume fraction with one-way coupling is carried out and results are again compared to DNS results. Results illustrate the ability of the proposed model to predict the influence of small-scale turbulence on droplet micro-physics in the context of LES.

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