Time-resolved sphere and fluid motions in turbulent boundary layers


  • Yi Hui Tee Aerospace Engineering and Mechanics, University of Minnesota
  • Ellen K. Longmire Aerospace Engineering and Mechanics, University of Minnesota




Particle-laden flow, particle tracking, SPIV, turbulent boundary layer


This paper extends the study by Tee et al. (2020) to investigate the effect of large coherent structures on motion of spheres with specific gravities of 1.006 (P1) and 1.152 (P3) at Reτ = 670 and 1300 (d+ = 56 and 116). The sphere and fluid motions are tracked simultaneously via 3D particle tracking and stereoscopic particle image velocimetry over the streamwise-spanwise plane, respectively. With sufficient mean shear, sphere P1 lifts off of the wall upon release before descending back towards the wall at both Reτ. It typically accelerates strongly over a streamwise distance of less than one boundary layer thickness before approaching an approximate terminal velocity. By contrast, the denser sphere P3 does not lift off upon release but mainly slides along the wall. At lower Reτ where wall friction is stronger, this sphere translates with unsteady velocity, significantly lagging the local fluid. The streamwise velocities of both spheres correlate strongly with the fast- and slow-moving zones that approach and move over them. In most runs, both spheres lag the local coherent structures and travel with either fast- or slow-moving zones throughout the observed trajectories. Vortex shedding, which is most prevalent for sphere P3 at Reτ = 670, is also important. The sphere spanwise motion is prompted by wall friction, spanwise fluid motion, and/or meandering of the coherent structures, and spheres do not appear to migrate preferentially into slow-moving zones.






Boundary Layers