skip to main content

Title: Role of flow reversals in transition to turbulence and relaminarization of pulsatile flows
The instability and transition to turbulence and its evolution in pulsatile flows, which involve reverse flows and unsteady flow separations, is the primary focus of this experimental work. A piston driven by a programmable DC servo motor was used to set-up a water flow system and provide the pulsation characteristics. Time-resolved particle image velocimetry data were acquired in a refractive index matching set-up by using a continuous wave laser and a high-frame-rate digital camera. The position of the piston was continuously recorded by a laser proximity sensor. Five different experiments were carried out with Reynolds numbers in the range of 535–4825 and Womersley numbers from 11.91 to 23.82. The non-stationarity of the data was addressed by incorporating trend removal methods involving low- and high-pass filtering of the data, and using empirical mode decomposition together with the relevant Hilbert–Huang transform to determine the intrinsic mode functions. This latter method is more appropriate for nonlinear and non-stationary cases, for which traditional analysis involving classical Fourier decomposition is not directly applicable. It was found that transition to turbulence is a spontaneous event covering the whole near-wall region. The instantaneous vorticity profiles show the development of a large-scale ring-like attached wall vortical layer (WVL) with smaller vortices of higher frequencies than the pulsation frequency superimposed, which point to a shear layer Kelvin–Helmholtz (K–H) type of instability. Inflectional instability leads to flow separation and the formation of a major roll-up structure with the K–H vortices superimposed. This structure breaks down in the azimuthal direction into smaller turbulence patches with vortical content, which appears to be the prevailing structural content of the flow at each investigated Reynolds number ( Re ). At higher Re numbers, the strength and extent of the vortices are larger and substantial disturbances appear in the free stream region of the flow, which are typical of pipe flows at transitional Re numbers. Turbulence appears to be produced at the locations of maximum or minimum vorticity within the attached WVL, in the ridges between the K–H vortices around the separated WVL and the upstream side of the secondary vortex where the flow impinges on the wall. This wall turbulence breaks away into the middle section of the pipe, at approximately $Re \ge 2200$ , by strong eruptions of the K–H vortices.  more » « less
Award ID(s):
Author(s) / Creator(s):
; ;
Date Published:
Journal Name:
Journal of Fluid Mechanics
Medium: X
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
More Like this
  1. In past experiments, simulations and theoretical analysis, rotation has been shown to dramatically effect the characteristics of turbulent flows, such as causing the mean velocity profile to appear laminar, leading to an overall drag reduction, as well as affecting the Reynolds stress tensor. The axially rotating pipe is an exemplary prototypical model problem that exhibits these complex turbulent flow physics. For this flow, the rotation of the pipe causes a region of turbulence suppression which is particularly sensitive to the rotation rate and Reynolds number. The physical mechanisms causing turbulence suppression are currently not well-understood, and a deeper understanding of these mechanisms is of great value for many practical examples involving swirling or rotating flows, such as swirl generators, wing-tip vortices, axial compressors, hurricanes, etc. In this work, Direct Numerical Simulations (DNS) of rotating turbulent pipe flows are conducted at moderate Reynolds numbers (Re=5300, 11,700, and 19,000) and rotation numbers of N=0 to 3. The main objectives of this work are to firstly quantify turbulence suppression for rotating turbulent pipe flows at different Reynolds numbers as well as study the effects of rotation on turbulence by analyzing the characteristics of the Reynolds stress tensor and the production and dissipation terms of the turbulence budgets. 
    more » « less
  2. Rotating and swirling turbulence comprises an important class of flows, not only due to the complex physics that occur, but also due to their relevance to many engineering applications, such as combustion, cyclone separation, mixing, etc. In these types of flows, rotation strongly affects the characteristics and structure of turbulence. However, the underlying turbulent flow phenomena are complex and currently not well understood. The axially rotating pipe is an exemplary prototypical model problem that exhibits these complex turbulent flow physics. By examining the complex interaction of turbulent structures within rotating turbulent pipe flow, insight can be gained into the behavior of rotating flows relevant to engineering applications. Direct numerical simulations are conducted at a bulk Reynolds number up to Re_D = 19,000 with rotation numbers ranging from N = 0 to 3. Coherence analysis, including Proper Orthogonal Decomposition and Dynamic Mode Decomposition, are used to identify the relevant (highest energy) modes of the flow. Studying the influence of these modes on turbulent statistics (i.e. mean statistics, Reynolds stresses, turbulent kinetic energy, and turbulent kinetic energy budgets) allow for a deeper understanding of the effects of coherent turbulent flow structures in rotating flows. 
    more » « less
  3. One of the key factors in simulating realistic wall-bounded flows at high Reynolds numbers is the selection of an appropriate turbulence model for the steady Reynolds Averaged Navier–Stokes equations (RANS) equations. In this investigation, the performance of several turbulence models was explored for the simulation of steady, compressible, turbulent flow on complex geometries (concave and convex surface curvatures) and unstructured grids. The turbulence models considered were the Spalart–Allmaras model, the Wilcox k- ω model and the Menter shear stress transport (SST) model. The FLITE3D flow solver was employed, which utilizes a stabilized finite volume method with discontinuity capturing. A numerical benchmarking of the different models was performed for classical Computational Fluid Dynamic (CFD) cases, such as supersonic flow over an isothermal flat plate, transonic flow over the RAE2822 airfoil, the ONERA M6 wing and a generic F15 aircraft configuration. Validation was performed by means of available experimental data from the literature as well as high spatial/temporal resolution Direct Numerical Simulation (DNS). For attached or mildly separated flows, the performance of all turbulence models was consistent. However, the contrary was observed in separated flows with recirculation zones. Particularly, the Menter SST model showed the best compromise between accurately describing the physics of the flow and numerical stability. 
    more » « less
  4. Stationary longitudinal vortical rolls emerge in katabatic and anabatic Prandtl slope flows at shallow slopes as a result of an instability when the imposed surface buoyancy flux relative to the background stratification is sufficiently large. Here, we identify the self-pairing of these longitudinal rolls as a unique flow structure. The topology of the counter-rotating vortex pair bears a striking resemblance to speaker-wires and their interaction with each other is a precursor to further destabilization and breakdown of the flow field into smaller structures. On its own, a speaker-wire vortex retains its unique topology without any vortex reconnection or breakup. For a fixed slope angle $\alpha =3^{\circ }$ and at a constant Prandtl number, we analyse the saturated state of speaker-wire vortices and perform a bi-global linear stability analysis based on their stationary state. We establish the existence of both fundamental and subharmonic secondary instabilities depending on the circulation and transverse wavelength of the base state of speaker-wire vortices. The dominance of subharmonic modes relative to the fundamental mode helps to explain the relative stability of a single vortex pair compared to the vortex dynamics in the presence of two or an even number of pairs. These instability modes are essential for the bending and merging of multiple speaker-wire vortices, which break up and lead to more dynamically unstable states, eventually paving the way for transition towards turbulence. This process is demonstrated via three-dimensional flow simulations with which we are able to track the nonlinear temporal evolution of these instabilities. 
    more » « less
  5. The interplay between viscoelasticity and inertia in dilute polymer solutions at high deformation rates can result in inertioelastic instabilities. The nonlinear evolution of these instabilities generates a state of turbulence with significantly different spatiotemporal features compared to Newtonian turbulence, termed elastoinertial turbulence (EIT). We ex- plore EIT by studying the dynamics of a submerged planar jet of a dilute aqueous polymer solution injected into a quiescent tank of water using a combination of schlieren imaging and laser Doppler velocimetry (LDV). We show how fluid elasticity has a nonmonotonic effect on the jet stability depending on its magnitude, creating two distinct regimes in which elastic effects can either destabilize or stabilize the jet. In agreement with linear stability analyses of viscoelastic jets, an inertioelastic shear-layer instability emerges near the edge of the jet for small levels of elasticity, independent of bulk undulations in the fluid column. The growth of this disturbance mode destabilizes the flow, resulting in a turbulence transition at lower Reynolds numbers and closer to the nozzle compared to the conditions required for the transition to turbulence in a Newtonian jet. Increasing the fluid elasticity merges the shear-layer instability into a bulk instability of the jet column. In this regime, elastic tensile stresses generated in the shear layer act as an “elastic membrane” that partially stabilizes the flow, retarding the transition to turbulence to higher levels of inertia and greater distances from the nozzle. In the fully turbulent state far from the nozzle, planar viscoelastic jets exhibit unique spatiotemporal features associated with EIT. The time-averaged angle of jet spreading, an Eulerian measure of the degree of entrainment, and the centerline velocity of the jets both evolve self-similarly with distance from the nozzle. The autocovariance of the schlieren images in the fully turbulent region of the jets shows coherent structures that are elongated in the streamwise direction, consistent with the suppression of streamwise vortices by elastic stresses. These coherent structures give a higher spectral energy to small frequency modes in EIT characterized by LDV measurements of the velocity fluctuations at the jet centerline. Finally, our LDV measurements reveal a frequency spectrum characterized by a −3 power-law exponent, different from the well-known −5/3 power-law exponent characteristic of Newtonian turbulence. 
    more » « less