An investigation was made into the particle-laden turbulent flow produced by a rotor hovering in ground effect over a mobile sediment bed. Measurements of the two-phase flow were made using time-resolved particle image velocimetry and particle tracking velocimetry as the rotor wake and its embedded vorticity approached and interacted with the sediment bed. Mobilized particles of 45–63 μm diameter (estimated to have a particle Reynolds number of <30 and a Stokes number of about 60) were individually identified and tracked in the resulting flow, with the objective of relating any changes in the vortical flow and turbulence characteristics of the carrier flow phase to the action of the dispersed particle phase. It was observed that, in general, a two-way coupling between the flow phases was produced near the ground, and in some cases, the coupling was very significant. Specifically, it was shown that the uplifted particles altered the carrier flow near the sediment bed, leading to an earlier distortion of the external flow induced by the blade tip vortices and to the accelerated diffusion of the vorticity they contained. The uplifted particles were also seen to modify the overall turbulence field, and when sufficient particle concentrations built up, the particles began to attenuate the turbulence levels. Even in regions with lower particle concentrations, turbulence was found to be attenuated by the indirect action of the particles because of the distortions made to the tip vortices, which were otherwise a significant source of turbulence production. After the tip vortices had diffused further downstream, the uplifted particles were also found to increase the anisotropy of turbulence in the flow.
Experiments in Fluids – Springer Journals
Published: Mar 2, 2014
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