Vortex rings from cylinders with inclined exits

D. R. Webster, E. K. Longmire

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39 Scopus citations


A typical experimental vortex generator was perturbed by inclining the exit orifice. Instantaneous velocity fields were measured with particle image velocimetry at a Reynolds number, Γ0/ν, of 2800, which falls in the laminar regime for the axisymmetric case. Despite the nearly uniform velocity of the axisymmetric piston, the velocity exiting the cylinder is spatially and temporally non-uniform. Specifically, the exit velocity and the entrainment are larger on the short cylinder side. This fluid motion leads to an initial vortex roll-up with maximum and minimum circulation at the shortest and longest cylinder locations, respectively. A highly complex vortex structure forms, consisting of a primary vortex ring with varying circulation and branched vortex tubes that initially extend from the primary ring upstream toward the cylinder. The variation of the circulation in the primary ring and the strength of the branched vortex tubes increase with incline angle. The branched vortex tubes induce a strong cross-stream sweep of fluid toward the long cylinder side. The branched tubes convect across the cylinder exit with the sweep, break free of the cylinder, and pass through the primary ring. Beyond this time, the vortex structure consists of two closed-loop branches connected on the short cylinder side. As the flow progresses, the center of momentum moves toward the short cylinder side. As the cylinder incline angle is increased, the migration away from the centerline increases, and the flow becomes increasingly disorganized. The propagation speed and penetration distance are reduced because of the loss of coherent circulation. Qualitatively similar velocity fields and flow visualization photographs are presented for a larger (nominally turbulent) Reynolds number of 23000.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)400-416
Number of pages17
JournalPhysics of Fluids
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1998

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