Infoscience

Thesis

Grid Filter Models for the Large Eddy Simulation of Fluid Flows

In fluid mechanics, turbulence can occur in very simple flow geometries, for Newtonian fluids and without the need for additional flow conditions such as temperature gradients or chemical reactions. In standard cases, intuitive assumptions on the physics of the subgrid scales coupled with the classical theories of turbulence can be well suited for subgrid modelling in large eddy simulation. However, considering more complex situations such as elastic or plasmas turbulence, the behaviour of the subgrid scales is not clearly identified, certainly not as intuitive and the corresponding theories are not available yet. The question is how to proceed when the functional modelling, which imposes a known behaviour to the subgrid scales of the flow, is not possible. For instance, this issue could be overcome using deconvolution-based subgrid models which aim at a partial recovery of the original quantities from their filtered counterpart. In principle, functional modelling is avoided by attempting to invert the filtering operator applied to the governing equations. However, this apparent advantage is completely lost since these models are usually coupled with auxiliary approaches, directly based on functional modelling, in order to account for the interactions with the scales which are not representable on the coarse spatial discretization used for large eddy simulation. The driving motivation of this work is to suppress the need for this secondary modelling which would allow to extend the use of deconvolution-based models to the large eddy simulation of flows whose behaviour of subgrid scales is not identified. Considering the effects of the coarse numerical discretization as the only effective filter applied to the macroscopic equations, an interpretation of the deconvolution models as a way to approximate the effect of the scales lost by numerical discretization on the resolved scales of the flow is demonstrated. Consequently, a new category of subgrid models, the grid filter models, is defined and gives a theoretical justification to the use of deconvolution models for the entire subgrid modelling process. In this perspective, a general method for the computation of the convolution filter which models the effect of the grid filter on the computable scales of the solution is proposed, thereby addressing the key issue of the numerical discretization in large eddy simulation. This modelling approach is validated performing the large eddy simulation of the incompressible flow of a Newtonian fluid in a lid-driven cubical cavity. Comparisons with classical subgrid models allow to assess the validity of this modelling approach and the suppression of the need for functional modelling. In order to extend the validity domain of the grid filter models, the large eddy simulation of an elastic turbulence problem is envisaged. Numerical simulations of elastic turbulence are limited by numerical instabilities which are particularly stringent at high elasticity. Moreover, the computational burden resulting from the required space-time resolutions is significantly increased as compared to the Newtonian case. Consequently, available direct numerical simulations are restricted to periodic and two-dimensional cases. Among these studies, the large eddy simulation of the viscoelastic Kolmogorov flow is chosen as benchmark problem.

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