Finite-size particles modulate wall-bounded turbulence, leading, for the case of spherical particles, to increased drag also owing to the formation of a particle wall layer. Here, we study the effect of particle shape on the turbulence in suspensions of spheroidal particles at volume fraction
and show how the near-wall particle dynamics deeply changes with the particle aspect ratio and how this affects the global suspension behaviour. Direct numerical simulations are performed using a direct-forcing immersed boundary method to account for the dispersed phase, combined with a soft-sphere collision model and lubrication corrections for short-range particle–particle and particle–wall interactions. The turbulence reduces with the aspect ratio of oblate particles, leading to drag reduction with respect to the single-phase flow for particles with aspect ratio
, when the significant reduction in Reynolds shear stress is more than the compensation by the additional stresses, induced by the solid phase. Oblate particles are found to avoid the region close to the wall, travelling parallel to it with small angular velocities, while preferentially sampling high-speed fluid in the wall region. Prolate particles also tend to orient parallel to the wall and avoid its vicinity. Their reluctance to rotate around the spanwise axis reduces the wall-normal velocity fluctuation of the flow and therefore the turbulence Reynolds stress, similar to oblates; however, they undergo rotations in wall-parallel planes which increase the additional solid stresses due to their relatively larger angular velocities compared to the oblates. These larger additional stresses compensate for the reduction in turbulence activity and lead to a wall drag similar to that of single-phase flows. Spheres on the other hand, form a layer close to the wall with large angular velocities in the spanwise direction, which increases the turbulence activity in addition to exerting the largest solid stresses on the suspension, in comparison to the other studied shapes. Spherical particles therefore increase the wall drag with respect to the single-phase flow.