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The present work investigates the mechanical behaviour of finite-size, elastic and inertial fibres freely moving in a homogeneous and isotropic turbulent flow at moderate Reynolds number. Four-way coupled, direct numerical simulations, based on a finite difference discretisation and the immersed boundary method, are performed to mutually couple the dynamics of fibres and fluid turbulence, allowing us to account for the backreaction of the dispersed phase to the carrier flow. An extensive parametric study is carried out in zero-gravity condition over the characteristic properties of the suspension, i.e. fibre's linear density (from iso-dense to denser-than-the-fluid fibres), length (from short fibres comparable with the dissipative scale to long fibres comparable with the integral scale) and bending stiffness (from highly flexible to almost rigid fibres), as well as the concentration (from dilute to non-dilute suspensions). Results reveal the existence of a robust turbulence modulation mechanism that is primarily controlled by the mass fraction of the suspension (with only a minor influence of the fibre's bending stiffness), which is characterised in detail by means of a scale-by-scale analysis in Fourier space. Despite such alteration with respect to the single-phase case due to the non-negligible backreaction, fibres experience only two possible flapping states (previously identified in the very dilute condition) while being transported and deformed by the flow. In addition, we show that the maximum curvature obeys different scaling laws that can be derived from the fibre dynamical equation. Finally, we explore the clustering and preferential alignment of fibres within the flow, highlighting the peculiar role of inertia and elasticity.
multiphase and particle-laden flows; particle fluid flow