Symmetry breaking phenomena in thermovibrationally driven particle accumulation structures

Marcello Lappa, Thomas Burel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Citations (Scopus)
24 Downloads (Pure)


Following the recent discovery of new three-dimensional particle attractors driven by joint (fluid) thermovibrational and (particle) inertial effects in closed cavities with various shapes and symmetries [M. Lappa, Phys. Fluids 26(9), 093301 (2014); ibid. 31(7), 073303 (2019)], the present analysis continues this line of inquiry by probing influential factors hitherto not considered; among them, the role of the steady component of thermovibrational convection, i.e., the time-averaged velocity field that is developed by the fluid due to the non-linear nature of the overarching balance equations. It is shown how this apparently innocuous problem opens up a vast parameter space, which includes several variables, comprising (but not limited to) the frequency of vibrations, the so-called "Gershuni number,"the size of particles (Stokes number), and their relative density with respect to the surrounding fluid (density ratio). A variety of new particle structures (2D and 3D) are uncovered and a complete analysis of their morphology is presented. The results reveal an increase in the multiplicity of solutions brought in by the counter-intuitive triadic relationship among particle inertial effects and the instantaneous and time-averaged convective thermovibrational phenomena. Finally, a universal formula is provided that is able to predict correctly the time required for the formation of all the observed structures.

Original languageEnglish
Article number053314
Number of pages23
JournalPhysics of Fluids
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 28 May 2020


  • thermovibrational convection
  • Stokes number
  • Gershuni number
  • particle structures


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