Journal of Fluid Mechanics

Turbulence in the liquid phase of a uniform bubbly air–water flow

M.  Lance a1 and J.  Bataille a1
a1 Laboratoire de Mécanique des Fluides et d'Acoustique, URA CNRS 263, Ecole Centrale de Lyon, 69131 Ecully Cedex, France

Article author query
lance m   [Google Scholar] 
bataille j   [Google Scholar] 


The paper describes studies of the turbulence of the liquid in a bubbly, grid-generated turbulent flow field. Laser-Doppler and hot-film anemometry are used for the experimental investigation. It is found that the turbulent kinetic energy increases strongly with the void fraction α. Roughly speaking, there exist two distinct regimes: the first one corresponds to low value of α, where hydrodynamic interactions between bubbles are negligible, and the second one to higher values, for which, owing to their mutual interactions, the bubbles transfer a greater amount of kinetic energy to the liquid. The Reynolds stress tensor shows that the quasi-isotropy is not altered. At low enough values of α, the difference between the turbulent kinetic energy in the liquid phase and the energy associated with the grid-generated turbulence proves to be approximately equal to the intensity of the pseudo-turbulence, defined as the fluctuating energy that would be induced by the motion of the bubbles under non-turbulent conditions. The one-dimensional spectra exhibit a large range of high frequencies associated with the wakes of the bubbles and the classical $-\frac{5}{3}$ power law is progressively replaced by a $-\frac{8}{3}$ dependence.

(Published Online April 26 2006)
(Received November 6 1986)
(Revised May 29 1990)

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