Stochastic simulation of droplet breakup in turbulence
Journal article, 2020
This study investigates single droplet breakup from a theoretical perspective and addresses whether breakup in turbulent flows can be studied using highly-resolved simulations. Transient and three-dimensional turbulent flow simulations are performed to investigate if the apparent stochastic outcome from the droplet breakup can be predicted. For a given turbulent dissipation rate the breakup events were simulated for various detailed turbulence realizations. For this purpose, a well-characterized system widely used for kernel development is utilized to validate the simulations with respect to the key characteristics of stochastic breakup, including droplet deformation time, the number of fragments, and the specific breakup rate. The statistical validations show very good agreement with all the quantitative properties relevant to the breakup dynamics. Necklace breakup is also observed in line with patterns found in experiments. Evidence is found that the rate of energy transfer is positively correlated with higher order fragmentation. This can allow development of more accurate breakup kernels compared to the ones that only relies on the maximum amount of energy transfer. It is concluded that the simulation method provides new data on the stochastic characteristics of breakup. The method also provides a means to extract more details than experimentally possible since the analysis allows better spatial and temporal resolutions, and 3D analysis of energy transfer which provides better accuracy compared to experimental 2D data.