A Local Lagrangian Analysis of Passive Particle Advection in a Gas Flow Field

A local analysis is performed to study the departure from passive advection by small inertial particles based on a Lagrangian framework. The analysis considers heavy particles immersed in a gaseous flow and is restricted to short times, making it relevant to the PIV technique. A necessary (but not sufficient condition) for passive particle advection of inertial particles is that the quantity Λmaxτp be much smaller than one, where Λmax is the largest modulus of the eigenvalues corresponding to the velocity gradient tensor. This allows for the inertial and passive time scales to match beyond the initial transient, and consequently for the respective trajectories to remain relatively close. Due to this important role regarding advection behavior, Λmaxτp is offered as a definition of a local Stokes number, StΛ. Since this quantity is a field quantity, it directly provides indication of when and where passive advection by particles can be expected. A departure equation is obtained in one-dimension, where the influence of initial velocity and gravity are explicitly shown. If the flow is irrotational, the higher dimensional analysis reduces to a set of decoupled one-dimensional equations acting along each respective eigenvector of the velocity gradient tensor. A similar expression is found for the case of a purely temporal flow field.

The local Stokes number, StΛ, distribution shows that the maximum values are located within the vortex core region of the Stuart vortex flow. The largest departures from passive advection are found to coincide with this location.

The departure from passive particle transport is shown for various values of Uxoτp, where it is apparent that deviations from passive transport become progressively stronger with higher values of Uxoτp. With a decreasing velocity gradient, the onset of non-linear behavior takes increasingly longer to appear.

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