We present a new design for a stirred tank that is forced by two parallel planar arrays of randomly actuated jets. This arrangement creates turbulence at high Reynolds number with low mean flow. Most importantly, it exhibits a region of 3D homogeneous isotropic turbulence that is significantly larger than the integral lengthscale. These features are essential for enabling laboratory measurements of turbulent suspensions. We use quantitative imaging to confirm isotropy at large, small, and intermediate scales by examining one- and two-point statistics at the tank center. We then repeat these same measurements to confirm that the values measured at the tank center are constant over a large homogeneous region. In the direction normal to the symmetry plane, our measurements demonstrate that the homogeneous region extends for at least twice the integral length scale L = 9.5 cm. In the directions parallel to the symmetry plane, the region is at least four times the integral lengthscale, and the extent in this direction is limited only by the size of the tank. Within the homogeneous isotropic region, we measure a turbulent kinetic energy of 6.07 × 10−4 m2 s−2, a dissipation rate of 4.65 × 10−5 m2 s−3, and a Taylor-scale Reynolds number of R λ = 334. The tank’s large homogeneous region, combined with its high Reynolds number and its very low mean flow, provides the best approximation of homogeneous isotropic turbulence realized in a laboratory flow to date. These characteristics make the stirred tank an optimal facility for studying the fundamental dynamics of turbulence and turbulent suspensions.
Experiments in Fluids – Springer Journals
Published: Dec 22, 2013
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