Scale-to-scale energy transfer in mixing flow induced by the Richtmyer-Meshkov instability

Han Liu, Zuoli Xiao

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The Richtmyer-Meshkov instability (RMI) mixing flow induced by a planar shock wave of Mach 1.6 is investigated using direct numerical simulation method. Interfacial perturbations of different scales between air and sulfur hexafluoride are introduced to study the effect of the initial conditions. Focus is placed on the analysis of the scale-to-scale transfer of kinetic energy in both Fourier and physical spaces. The kinetic energy injected from the perturbation scales is transferred to both larger and smaller scales in an average sense within the inner mixing zone (IMZ) at early times and is mainly passed down into smaller scales at the late stage. The physical-space energy flux due to the subgrid-scale (SGS) stress is studied using a filtering approach in order to shed light on the physical origin of the scale-to-scale kinetic energy transfer. It is found that the pointwise SGS energy flux is highly correlated with the local spike and bubble structures in the IMZ. Moreover, it turns out that the mean SGS energy flux is mainly ascribed to the component in the direction of shock wave propagation. An analysis using the method of conditional averaging manifests that the generation of local SGS energy flux is associated with the property of the surrounding flow induced by quadrupolar or dipolar vortex structures.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number053112
JournalPhysical Review E
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 19 2016
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We are grateful to Weidong Su and Jianjun Tao for many beneficial discussions on this work. Numerical simulations were finished on the Tianhe-2 supercomputing facility at the National Supercomputer Center in Guangzhou, China. We acknowledge the financial support provided by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grants No. 11372007 and No. 11521091). This work was also supported by the 973 Program (Grant No. 2013CB834100).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016 American Physical Society.


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