Methods for measuring the orientation and rotation rate of 3D-printed particles in turbulence

Brendan C. Cole, Guy G. Marcus, Shima Parsa, Stefan Kramel, Rui Ni, Greg A. Voth

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5 Scopus citations


Experimental methods are presented for measuring the rotational and translational motion of anisotropic particles in turbulent fluid flows. 3D printing technology is used to fabricate particles with slender arms connected at a common center. Shapes explored are crosses (two perpendicular rods), jacks (three perpendicular rods), triads (three rods in triangular planar symmetry), and tetrads (four arms in tetrahedral symmetry). Methods for producing on the order of 10,000 fluorescently dyed particles are described. Time-resolved measurements of their orientation and solid-body rotation rate are obtained from four synchronized videos of their motion in a turbulent flow between oscillating grids with Rλ = 91. In this relatively low-Reynolds number flow, the advected particles are small enough that they approximate ellipsoidal tracer particles. We present results of time-resolved 3D trajectories of position and orientation of the particles as well as measurements of their rotation rates.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere53599
JournalJournal of Visualized Experiments
Issue number112
StatePublished - Jun 24 2016

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Neuroscience
  • General Chemical Engineering
  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology
  • General Immunology and Microbiology


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