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An experimental study on the multiscale properties of turbulence in bubble-laden flows

Ma, T.; Hessenkemper, H.; Lucas, D.; Bragg, A. D.


The properties of bubble-laden turbulent flows at different scales are investigated experimentally, focusing on the flow kinetic energy, energy transfer, and extreme events. The experiments employed particle shadow velocimetry measurements to measure the flow in a column generated by a homogeneous bubble swarm rising in water, for two different bubble diameters ($2.7$ mm $\&$ $3.9$ mm) and moderate gas volume fractions ($0.26\%\sim1.31\%$). The two velocity components were measured at high-resolution, and used to construct structure functions up to twelfth order for separations spanning the small to large scales in the flow. Concerning the flow anisotropy, the velocity structure functions are found to differ for separations in the vertical and horizontal directions of the flow, and the cases with smaller bubbles are the most anisotropic, with a dependence on void fraction. The degree of anisotropy is shown to increase as the order of the structure functions is increased, showing that extreme events in the flow are the most anisotropic. Our results show that the average energy transfer with the horizontal velocity component is downscale, just as for the three-dimensional single-phase turbulence. However, the energy transfer associated with the vertical component of the fluid velocity is upscale. The probability density functions of the velocity increments reveal that extreme values become more probable with decreasing Reynolds number, the opposite of the behaviour in single-phase turbulence. We visualize those extreme events and find that regions of intense small scale velocity increments occur near the turbulent/non-turbulent interface at the boundary of the bubble wake.

Keywords: turbulence; bubbly flows


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