A Study Of A Vortex Particle Method For Vortex Breakdown Phenomena
Shankar Kumar, B
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Vortex breakdown is an important phenomenon observed in swirling flows involving the development of a stagnation point on the axis of the vortex followed by a region of recirculation when the swirl increases beyond a particular level. It has been studied extensively over past 50 years and various theories have been proposed to explain its various aspects. However, a single model explaining all the aspects together is yet to emerge. Numerical simulations of breakdown have been performed using a variety of grid-based as well as vortex methods. Vortex methods are a Lagrangian alternative to grid-based methods wherein the motion of the vorticity is determined by the local fluid velocity convection, with models for viscous effects when considered. The fluid velocity is obtained from the vorticity field. Only the rotational regions of the flow need to be considered leading to significant economy of computational effort for simulations of vorticity dominated flows, such as vortex breakdown. The inviscid vortex filament method has been used to simulate several aspects of the vortex breakdown phenomenon. The vortex filament method however, cannot easily simulate viscous effects. To simulate the viscous effects the viscous vortex particle method needs to be used. This work was intended to be a first step towards this end by initially evaluating the effectiveness of the inviscid version of the vortex particle method in simulating the breakdown phenomenon. The inviscid vortex particle method was found to satisfactorily simulate most qualitative aspects involved in the formation of vortex breakdown such as the retardation of axial velocity along centerline, radial swelling of the vortex core, formation of stagnation points, creation of azimuthal vorticity gradient from axial vorticity gradient and the turning of vortex lines along with the formation of a bubble-like structure with recirculating flow within. The effect of a wall placed adjacent to the vortex core was simulated by using image vortices. The wall was not found to influence the location of breakdown. However, the initiation of the spiral mode was found to occur earlier when a wall was present. For a quantitative assessment, a simulation of the experimental results of Faler and Leibovich (1978) was attempted. The simulation managed to predict the location of the breakdown and the extent of the bubble. The shape and height of the bubble obtained however were not in accord with the experimental observations. A single vortical cell was obtained in the interior of the bubble.
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