Invisible Anchors Trap Particles in Branching Junctions.

TitleInvisible Anchors Trap Particles in Branching Junctions.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2018
AuthorsOettinger, D, Ault, JT, Stone, HA, Haller, G
JournalPhys Rev Lett
Date Published2018 Aug 03

We combine numerical simulations and an analytic approach to show that the capture of finite, inertial particles during flow in branching junctions is due to invisible, anchor-shaped three-dimensional flow structures. These Reynolds-number-dependent anchors define trapping regions that confine particles to the junction. For a wide range of Stokes numbers, these structures occupy a large part of the flow domain. For flow in a V-shaped junction, at a critical Stokes number, we observe a topological transition due to the merger of two anchors into one. From a stability analysis, we identify the parameter region of particle sizes and densities where capture due to anchors occurs.

Alternate JournalPhys. Rev. Lett.
PubMed ID30118271