On the multiplicity and symmetry of particle attractors in confined non-isothermal fluids subjected to inclined vibrations

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We investigate the relationship between the motion of solid particles and related clustering dynamics under the combined influence of a large-scale convective flow and vibrations-induced small-scale displacements in microgravity conditions. Such a study is motivated by the relatively recent discovery of a new class of particle attractors for which thermal and inertial effects play a fundamental role whereas particle-to-particle interactions are not essential. The key aim is to expand the set of predictive links between flow properties and particle behavior identified in the author’s earlier work (Phys. Fluids, 26(9), 093301, 2014). Insights are sought from consideration of two archetypal settings, both originating from the classical problem of a differentially heated cubic cavity, which in one case is subjected to vibrations contained in a plane parallel to one of the insulated walls (i.e. having a component in the direction parallel to the temperature gradient) and in the other experiences periodic accelerations arbitrarily oriented in space. The present study reveals that the multiplicity of the particle attractors, previously thought to be a universal number (N=2 according to earlier studies), is not a constant. The two distinct particle attractors seen in past investigations can undergo “coalescence” in some cases and exist as a single attractor over a relatively wide range of conditions. Moreover, in addition to the ellipsoid, cylinders and conical surfaces, other shapes of the attractors become possible when the vibrations are inclined with respect to the adiabatic walls, such as amphora-like or saddle-horse paraboloid structures.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)71-83
Number of pages13
JournalInternational Journal of Multiphase Flow
Early online date31 Mar 2017
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2017


  • particle segregation
  • thermovibrational flow
  • inclined vibrations


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