Preferred location of droplet collisions in turbulent flows
Physical Review E
This study investigates the local flow characteristics near droplet-droplet collisions by means of direct numerical simulation of isotropic cloudlike turbulence. The key finding is that, generally, droplets do not collide where they preferentially concentrate. Preferential concentration is found to happen as expected in regions of low enstrophy (vorticity magnitude), but collisions tend to take place in regions with significantly higher dissipation rates (up to a factor of 2.5 for Stokes unity
... roplets). Investigation of the droplet history reveals that collisions are consistently preceded by dissipative events. Based on the droplet history data, the following physical picture of a collision can be constructed: Enstrophy makes droplets preferentially concentrate in quiescent flow regions, thereby increasing the droplet velocity coherence, i.e., decreasing relative velocities between droplets. Strongly clustered droplets thus have a low collision probability, until a dissipative event accelerates the droplets towards each other. We study the relation between the local dissipation rate and the local collision kernel and vary the averaging scale to relate the results to the globally averaged collision and dissipation rates. It is noted that, unlike enstrophy, there is a positive correlation between the dissipation rate and collision efficiency that extends from the largest to the smallest scales of the flow.