A Study of Dean Vortex Development and Structure in a Curved Rectangular Channel with Aspect Ratio of 40 at Dean Numbers up to 430
Ligrani, Phillip M.
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Flow in a curved channel with mild curvature, an aspect ratio of 40 to 1, and an inner to outer radius ratio of 0.979 is studied at Dean numbers De ranging from 35 to 430. For positions from the start of curvature ranging from 85 to 145 degrees, the sequence of transition events begins with curved channel Poiseuille flow at De less than 40-64. As the Dean number increases, observations show initial development of Dean vortex pairs, followed by symmetric vortex pairs which, when viewed in spanwise/radial planes, cover the entire channel height (De=90-100). At De from 40 to 125-130, the vortex pairs often develop intermittent waviness in the form of vortex undulations. Splitting and merging of vortex pairs is also observed over the same experimental conditions as well as at higher De. When Dean numbers range from 130 to 185-200, the undulating wavy mode is replaced by a twisting mode with higher amplitudes of oscillation and shorter wavelengths. The twisting wavy mode results in the development of regions where turbulence intensity is locally augmented at Dean numbers from 150 to 185-200, principally in the upwash regions between the two individual vortices which make up each vortex pair. These turbulent regions eventually increase in intensity and spatial extent as the Dean number increases further, until individual regions merge together so that the entire cross section of the channel contains chaotic turbulent motions. When Dean numbers then reach 400-435, spectra of velocity fluctuations then evidence fully turbulent flow.
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