Multidimensional turbulence spectra – identifying properties of turbulent structures
Magazine article, 2011
Development of models for several phenomena occurring in turbulent single and multiphase flows requires improved description and quantification of the turbulent structures. This is needed since often the phenomena are very fast or nonlinear. Previously the authors have presented experimental measurements that show that the breakup of bubbles and drops in turbulence is due to interaction with single turbulent vortices. Hence, it is not sufficient to use average turbulence properties when developing models for CFD simulation of engineering applications. In this paper the results from analysis of individual turbulent structures are presented. Results from analysis of the turbulent kinetic energy in turbulent structures, using Eulerian vortex identification methods, are presented. The amount of turbulent kinetic energy associated with a coherent vortex defined using different vortex identification methods is quantified. It is shown that the peak turbulent kinetic energy is located near the edge of the region identified as coherent, making the analysis challenging and development of models difficult. However, detailed analysis of a small number of coherent vortices from LES of turbulent pipe flow reveals new information about their life history. The growth (i.e. entrainment of the surrounding liquid), enstrophy, lifetime, and energy of a specific coherent vortex are tracked over time.