An accurate and efficient method for treating aerodynamic interactions of cloud droplets

AMS Citation:
Rosa, B., L. -P. Wang, M. R. Maxey, and W. W. Grabowski, 2011: An accurate and efficient method for treating aerodynamic interactions of cloud droplets. Journal of Computational Physics, 230, 8109-8133, doi:10.1016/
Resource Type:article
Title:An accurate and efficient method for treating aerodynamic interactions of cloud droplets
Abstract: Motivated by a need to improve the representation of short-range interaction forces in hybrid direct numerical simulation of interacting cloud droplets, an efficient method for treating the aerodynamic interaction of two spherical particles settling under gravity is developed. An effort is made to ensure the accuracy of our method for any inter-particle separation by considering three separation ranges. The first is the long-range interaction where a multipole method is applied. After a decomposition into six simple configurations, explicit formulae for drag forces and torques are derived from an approximate Force-Torque-Stresslet (FTS) formulation. The FTS formulation is found to be accurate when the separation distance normalized by the average radius is larger than 5. The second range concerns the short-range interaction where the interaction force could be very large. Leading-order lubrication expansions are employed for this range and are found to be accurate when the normalized separation is less than about 0.01. Finally, for the intermediate range where no simple method is available, a third-order polynomial fitting is proposed to bridge the treatments for long-range and short-range interactions. After optimizing the precise form of polynomial fitting and matching locations, the force representation is found to be highly accurate when compared with the exact solution for Stokes flows. Using this method, collision efficiencies of cloud droplets sedimenting under gravity have been calculated. It is shown that the results of collision efficiency are in excellent agreement with results based on the exact Stokes flow solution. Collision efficiency results are also compared to previous results to further illustrate the accuracy of our calculations. The effects of particle rotation and the attractive van der Waals force on the collision efficiency are also studied. The efficient force representation developed here is more general than the usual lubrication expansion and thus can serve as a better approach to correct unresolved short-range interactions in particle-resolved simulations.
Subject(s):Collision efficiency, Stokes flow, Hybrid approach, Lubrication force, Aerodynamic interaction
Peer Review:Refereed
Copyright Information:Copyright 2011 Elsevier.
OpenSky citable URL: ark:/85065/d7kh0p2r
Publisher's Version: 10.1016/
  • Bogdan Rosa - NCAR/UCAR
  • Lian-Ping Wang
  • M. Maxey
  • Wojciech Grabowski - NCAR/UCAR
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