Fully resolved simulations of particles suspended in a sustained turbulent flow field are presented. To solve the Navier–Stokes equations a lattice-Boltzmann scheme was used. A spectral forcing scheme is applied to maintain turbulent conditions at a Taylor microscale Reynolds number of 61. The simulations contained between 2 and 10 vol % particles with a solid to fluid density ratio between 1.15 and 1.73. A lubrication force is used to account for subgrid hydrodynamic interaction between approaching particles. Results are presented on the influence of the particle phase on the turbulence spectrum and on particle collisions. Energy spectra of the simulations show that the particles generate fluid motion at length scales of the order of the particle size. This results in a strong increase in the rate of energy dissipation at these length scales and a decrease of kinetic energy at larger length scales.
Collisions due to uncorrelated particle motion are observed (primary collisions), and collision frequencies are in agreement with theory on inertial particle collisions. In addition to this, a large number of collisions at high frequencies is encountered. These secondary collisions are due to the correlated motion of particles resulting from short-range hydrodynamic interactions and spatial correlation of the turbulent velocity field at short distances. This view is supported by the distribution of relative particle velocities, the particle velocity correlation functions and the particle radial distribution function.