Coagulation and fragmentation dynamics of inertial particles

Jens C. Zahnow, Rafael D. Vilela, Ulrike Feudel, Tamás Tél

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

14 Citations (Scopus)


Inertial particles suspended in many natural and industrial flows undergo coagulation upon collisions and fragmentation if their size becomes too large or if they experience large shear. Here we study this coagulation-fragmentation process in time-periodic incompressible flows. We find that this process approaches an asymptotic dynamical steady state where the average number of particles of each size is roughly constant. We compare the steady-state size distributions corresponding to two fragmentation mechanisms and for different flows and find that the steady state is mostly independent of the coagulation process. While collision rates determine the transient behavior, fragmentation determines the steady state. For example, for fragmentation due to shear, flows that have very different local particle concentrations can result in similar particle size distributions if the temporal or spatial variation in shear forces is similar.

Original languageEnglish
Article number026311
JournalPhysical Review E - Statistical, Nonlinear, and Soft Matter Physics
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Aug 19 2009


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Statistical and Nonlinear Physics
  • Statistics and Probability
  • Condensed Matter Physics

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