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.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Physics and Astronomy(all)