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DOI: 10.1007/s00162-022-00633-y

Dispersion of Free-Falling Saliva Droplets by Two-Dimensional Vortical Flows

Orr AvniYuval Dagan
Jan 2022
摘要
The dispersion of respiratory saliva droplets by indoor wake structures mayenhance the transmission of various infectious diseases, as the wake spreadsvirus-laden droplets across the room. Thus, this study analyses the interactionbetween vortical wake structures and exhaled multi-component saliva droplets. Aself-propelling analytically-described dipolar vortex is chosen as a model wakeflow, passing through a cloud of micron-sized evaporating saliva droplets. Thedroplets' spatial location, velocity, diameter, and temperature are traced andcoupled to their local flow field. For the first time, the wake structure decayis incorporated and analyzed, which is proved essential for accuratelypredicting the settling distances of the dispersed droplets. The model alsoconsiders the non-volatile saliva components, adequately capturing the essenceof droplet-aerosol transition and predicting the equilibrium diameter of theresidual aerosols. Our analytic model reveals non-intuitive interactionsbetween wake flows, droplet relaxation time, gravity, and transport phenomena.We reveal that given the right conditions, a virus-laden saliva droplet mighttranslate to distances two orders of magnitude larger than the carrier-flowcharacteristic size. Moreover, accounting for the non-volatile contents insidethe droplet may lead to fundamentally different dispersion and settlingbehavior compared to non-evaporating particles or pure water droplets. Ergo, wesuggest that the implementation of more complex evaporation models might becritical in high-fidelity simulations aspiring to assess the spread of airbornerespiratory droplets.
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