Statistical model for collisions and recollisions of inertial particles in mixing flows
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Finding a quantitative description of the rate of collisions between small particles suspended in mixing flows is a long-standing problem. Here we investigate the validity of a parameterisation of the collision rate for identical particles subject to Stokes force, based on results for relative velocities of heavy particles that were recently obtained within a statistical model for the dynamics of turbulent aerosols. This model represents the turbulent velocity fluctuations by Gaussian random functions. We find that the parameterisation gives quantitatively good results in the limit where the “ghost-particle approximation” applies. The collision rate is a sum of two contributions due to “caustics” and to “clustering”. Within the statistical model we compare the relative importance of these two collision mechanisms. The caustic formation rate is high when the particle inertia becomes large, and we find that caustics dominate the collision rate as soon as they form frequently. We compare the magnitude of the caustic contribution to the collision rate to the formation rate of caustics.
KeywordsTopical Issue: Multi-scale phenomena in complex flows and flowing matter
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