NWO - 1 PhD experimental positions - Tailoring large-scale turbulence with bespoke small-scale fibers

Numerous natural phenomena and industrial applications involve turbulence with complex-shaped particles. However, most experimental and numerical studies into particle-laden turbulence have been carried out for low volume fractions of particles (ϕ<1%) with simple rigid geometries (spheres and fibers). The bottlenecks for experimental investigation of soft or anisotropic particles in turbulence are the lack of powerful equipment for turbulence generation including sophisticated measurement techniques, and the low throughput of processes that enable fabrication of complex-shaped particles with controlled stiffness. The objective of this project is to open up and investigate unexplored parameter spaces of particle-laden turbulence. We will design and fabricate tailored particles via in-air photopolymerization, a new platform for particle fabrication. The connection between the in-air process and the particle properties will be opened for the first time, by high-speed imaging of the flow and solidification dynamics during particle formation. Particles with controlled shape, flexibility, and local composition will be fabricated and placed in turbulent flows. We will systematically vary these particle properties, the Reynolds number, and the particle volume fraction to assess their influence on the flow characteristics of highly turbulent Taylor-Couette flows, including turbulent drag, turbulence intensity, and local particle dynamics. For example, the curvature and density of particles may affect entanglement and clustering in turbulence, respectively, providing insight in the efficiency of particle transport and opportunities for drag reduction. This understanding would enable predictions and control of large-scale particle-laden flows as observed in nature, chemical reactors, and food processing. Moreover, understanding ultrafast photopolymerization is relevant for inkjet printing and for advanced microparticle manufacturing in e.g. pharmacy and life sciences.

Contact: Assis. Prof. Dr. Sander Huisman (PoF)

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Max Planck Gesellschaft
Centre for Scientific Computing