Journal of Fluid Mechanics


Particle–fluid interactions in a plane near-wall turbulent flow

M. RIGHETTI a1 and G. P. ROMANO a2
a1 Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of Trento, Italy
a2 Department of Mechanics and Aeronautics, University of Roma “La Sapienza”, Italy

Article author query
righetti m   [Google Scholar] 
romano g   [Google Scholar] 


The role of particles heavier than the fluid (glass spheres in water) in a turbulent open channel flow over a smooth bed is examined at volume concentration about $10^{-3}$. The present work focuses on the dynamical interaction between the solid (particles) and the fluid phases in the near-wall region. Experimental measurements have been performed by means of phase Doppler anemometry to acquire two velocity components, particle size and concentration data simultaneously; the Reynolds number of the flow was close to 15 000. It is observed that in the particle-laden flow, the vertical profiles of the streamwise mean velocity (for both fluid and solid phases) are reduced in the outer layer ($y^{ + }\,{ >}\, 20$), but increased in the viscous sublayer ($y^{ + }\,{<}\,5$) in comparison to the clear-water conditions, leading to an apparent slip kinematic boundary condition close to the wall ($y^{ + } \,{\approx}\,2$). Moreover, in the presence of solid particles, the flow exhibits a velocity close to the wall ($y^{ + }\,{ <}\, 15$) which is smaller than that of the particles, while in the outer layer the opposite takes place. In particle-laden flow, turbulence intensities of the streamwise and especially of the vertical velocity are damped for $y^{ + }\,{>}\,10$–20 (depending on particle inertia) but enhanced in the very near-wall region ($y^{ + }\,{ <}\, 5$), as is the Reynolds stress. These findings can be explained if they are referred to the mechanism of particle entrainment and deposition, which takes place close to the wall. This mechanism is related to particle inertia and to the dynamic of the structure of near-wall turbulence, which connects the buffer and outer regions with the very near-wall region. A significant momentum exchange between the two phases, which is particularly effective in the buffer region, is revealed by the quadrant analysis of the Reynolds stresses.

(Received April 30 2001)
(Revised November 13 2003)