Three-dimensional direct numerical simulation study of conditioned moments associated with front propagation in turbulent flows
Journal article, 2014

In order to gain further insight into (i) the use of conditioned quantities for characterizing turbulence within a premixed flame brush and (ii) the influence of front propagation on turbulent scalar transport, a 3D Direct Numerical Simulation (DNS) study of an infinitely thin front that self-propagates in statistically stationary, homogeneous, isotropic, forced turbulence was performed by numerically integrating Navier-Stokes and level set equations. While this study was motivated by issues relevant to premixed combustion, the density was assumed to be constant in order (i) to avoid the influence of the front on the flow and, therefore, to know the true turbulence characteristics as reference quantities for assessment of conditioned moments and (ii) to separate the influence of front propagation on turbulent transport from the influence of pressure gradient induced by heat release. Numerical simulations were performed for two turbulence Reynolds numbers (50 and 100) and four ratios (1, 2, 5, and 10) of the rms turbulent velocity to the front speed. Obtained results show that, first, the mean front thickness is decreased when a ratio of the rms turbulent velocity to the front speed is decreased. Second, although the gradient diffusion closure yields the right direction of turbulent scalar flux obtained in the DNS, the diffusion coefficient D t determined using the DNS data depends on the mean progress variable. Moreover, D t is decreased when the front speed is increased, thus, indicating that the front propagation affects turbulent scalar transport even in a constant-density case. Third, conditioned moments of the velocity field differ from counterpart mean moments, thus, disputing the use of conditioned velocity moments for characterizing turbulence when modeling premixed turbulent combustion. Fourth, computed conditioned enstrophies are close to the mean enstrophy in all studied cases, thus, suggesting the use of conditioned enstrophy for characterizing turbulence within a premixed flame brush.

premixed flame


turbulent reacting flow


Rixin Yu

Lund University

Andrei Lipatnikov

Chalmers, Applied Mechanics, Combustion and Propulsion Systems

Xue Song Bai

Lund University

Physics of Fluids

1070-6631 (ISSN) 1089-7666 (eISSN)

Vol. 26 8 085104- 1.4891735

Driving Forces

Sustainable development

Areas of Advance




Basic sciences

Subject Categories

Fluid Mechanics and Acoustics



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