The problem of accurate Eulerian–Lagrangian modeling of inertial particle dispersion in large-eddy simulation (LES) of turbulent wall-bounded flows is addressed. We run direct numerical simulation (DNS) of turbulent channel flow at shear Reynolds number Reτ=150 and corresponding a priori and a posteriori LES on two coarser grids. For each flow field, we tracked swarms of particles with different inertia to examine the behavior of particle statistics, specifically focusing on particle preferential segregation and accumulation at the wall. Our object is to discuss the necessity of a closure model for the particle equations when using LES and we verify if the influence of the subgrid turbulence filtered by LES is an important effect on particle motion according to particle size. The results show that well-resolved LES gives particle velocity statistics in satisfactory agreement with DNS. However, independent of the grid, quantitatively inaccurate predictions are obtained for local particle preferential segregation, particularly in the near-wall region. Inaccuracies are observed for the entire range of particle size considered in this study, even when the particle response time is much larger than the flow time scales not resolved in LES. The satisfactory behavior of LES in reproducing particle velocity statistics is thus counterbalanced by the inaccurate representation of local segregation phenomena, indicating that closure models supplying the particle motion equation with an adequate rendering of the flow field might be needed. Finally, we remark that recovering the level of fluid and particle velocity fluctuations in the particle equations does not ensure a quantitative replica of the subgrid turbulence effects, thus implying that accurate subgrid closure models for particles may require information also proportional to the higher-order moments of the velocity fluctuations.

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