Fluid flows in passages whose cross-sectional area increases in the streamwise direction are prone to separation. Here, the flow in a conical diffuser fed by a fully developed velocity at its inlet and mated at its downstream end to a long circular pipe is investigated by means of numerical simulation. A universal flow-regime model was used to accommodate possible laminarization of flows having moderate-turbulent and transitional Reynolds numbers at the diffuser inlet. It was found that flow separation occurred for a diffuser expansion angle of 5° for inlet Reynolds numbers less than about 2000. This finding invalidates a prior rule-of-thumb that flow separation first occurs at a divergence angle of seven degrees. Results from the 10 and 30° simulations showed separation at all investigated Reynolds numbers. The largest streamwise length of the separation zones occurred at the lower Reynolds numbers.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||5|
|Journal||International Journal of Heat and Mass Transfer|
|State||Published - Jun 1 2009|
- Cross-sectional enlargement
- Flow separation
- Flow transitions