Experimental investigations of the influence of Reynolds number and boundary conditions on a plane air jet

PhD Thesis

Deo, Ravinesh C.. 2005. Experimental investigations of the influence of Reynolds number and boundary conditions on a plane air jet. PhD Thesis Doctor of Philosophy. University of Adelaide.

Experimental investigations of the influence of Reynolds number and boundary conditions on a plane air jet

TypePhD Thesis
AuthorDeo, Ravinesh C.
Institution of OriginUniversity of Adelaide
Qualification NameDoctor of Philosophy
Number of Pages217
Web Address (URL)http://hdl.handle.net/2440/37727

A plane jet is a statistically two-dimensional flow, with the dominant flow in the streamwise (x) direction, spread in the lateral (y) direction and zero entrainment in the spanwise (z) direction respectively (see Figure 1). A plane jet has several industrial applications, mostly in engineering environments, although seldom is a jet issuing through a smooth contoured nozzle encountered in real life. Notably, the Reynolds number and boundary conditions between industrial and laboratory environments are different. In view of these, it is important to establish effects of nozzle boundary conditions as well as the influence of Reynolds number, on jet development. Such establishments are essential to gain an insight into their mixing field, particularly relevant to engineering applications. To satisfy this need, this thesis examines the influence of boundary conditions, especially those associated with the formation of the jet and jet exit Reynolds number, on the flow field of a turbulent plane air jet by measuring velocity with a hot wire anemometer. A systematic variation is performed, of the Reynolds number Re over the range 1,500≤Re ≤16,500, the inner-wall nozzle contraction profile r* over the range 0≤r*≤3.60 and nozzle aspect ratio AR over the range 15≤AR≤72 (see notation for symbols). An independent assessment of the effect of sidewalls on a plane jet is also performed. Key outcomes are as follows: (1) Effects of Reynolds number Re: Both the mean and turbulence fields show significant dependence on Re. The normalized initial mean velocity and turbulence intensity profiles are Re-dependent. An increase in the thickness of boundary layer at the nozzle lip with a decrease in Re is evident. This dependence appears to become negligible for Re ≥10,000. The centerline mean velocity decay and jet spreading rates are found to decrease as Re is increased. Furthermore, the mean velocity field appears to remain sensitive to Reynolds number at Re = 16,500. Unlike the mean velocity field, the turbulent velocity field has a negligible Re-dependence for Re ≥10,000. An increase in Reynolds number leads to an increase in the entrainment rate in the near field but a reduced rate in the far field. The centerline skewness and the flatness factors show a systematic dependence on Reynolds number too. (2) Effects of the inner-wall nozzle exit contraction profile r*: The inner-wall nozzle exit contraction profile r* influences the initial velocity and turbulence intensity profiles. Saddle-backed mean velocity profiles are evident for the sharp-edged orifice configuration (r* ≈ 0) and top hat profiles emerge when r* ≥1.80. As r* is increased from 0 to 3.60, both the near and the far field decay and the spreading rates of the plane jet are found to decrease. Hence, the sharp-edged orifice-jet (r* ≈ 0) decays and spreads more rapidly than the jet through a radially contoured configuration (r* ≈ 3.60). The asymptotic values of the center-line turbulence intensity, skewness and flatness factors of the velocity fluctuations increase as r* tends toward zero. The non-dimensional vortex shedding frequency of StH ≈ 0.39, is higher for the sharp-edged orifice nozzle (r*≈ 0), than for the radially contoured (r* ≈ 3.60) nozzle whose StH ≈ 0.24. Thus, the vortex shedding should be strongly dependent on flow geometry and on nozzle boundary conditions. (3) Effects of nozzle aspect ratio AR: The initial velocity and turbulence intensity profiles are slightly dependent on nozzle aspect ratio of the plane air jet. It is believed that a coupled influence of the nozzle aspect ratio and sidewalls produce changes in the initial flow field. The axial extent over which a statistically 'two-dimensional' flow is achieved, is found to depend upon nozzle aspect ratio. This could be possibly due to the influence of the evolving boundary layer on the sidewalls or due to increased three-dimensionality, whose influence becomes significantly larger as nozzle aspect ratio is reduced. A statistically two dimensional flow is only achieved over a very limited extent for AR = 15. In the self-similar region, the rates of centreline velocity decay, spreading of the mean velocity field and jet entrainment increase with an increase in nozzle aspect ratio. An estimate of the critical jet aspect ratio, where three-dimensional effects first emerge and its axial location is made. Results show that the critical aspect ratio increases with nozzle aspect ratio up to AR <30. For AR≥30, the critical aspect ratio based on jet half width, attains a constant value of about 0.15. Thus, it appears that when the width of the flow approximately equals the spacing between the sidewalls, the plane air jet undergoes a transition from 2-D to 3-D. A distinct hump of the locally normalized turbulence intensity at an axial distance between 10 to 12 nozzle widths downstream, characterizes the centerline turbulence intensity for all nozzle aspect ratios. This hump is smaller when nozzle aspect ratio is larger. (4) Effects of the sidewalls: A jet issuing from a nozzle of AR = 60 and measured at Re = 7,000 is tested with sidewalls, i.e. plane-jet and without sidewalls, i.e. free-rectangular-jet. It is found that the entire flow field behaves differently for the two cases. The initial velocity profiles are top hat for both jets. The free rectangular jet decays and spreads more rapidly in both the near and far field. It is found that the free rectangular jet behaves statistically two-dimensional up to a shorter axial distance (x/H = 70) as opposed to the plane jet whose two-dimensional region extends up to x/H = 160. Also noted are that the axial extent of the two-dimensional region depends strongly on nozzle aspect ratio. Beyond the 2-D region, the free rectangular jet tends to behave, statistically, like a round jet. The locally normalized centerline turbulence intensity also depend on sidewalls. Turbulence intensity for the plane jet asymptotes closer to the nozzle (around x/H = 30) whereas for the free rectangular jet, turbulence intensity varies as far downstream as x/H = 100, and then asymptotes. A constant StH of 0.36 is found for the free rectangular jet whereas an StH of 0.22 is obtained for the plane jet. It is noted that the effects of jet exit Reynolds number, inner-wall nozzle exit contraction profile, nozzle aspect ratio and sidewalls on the plane air jet are all non-negligible. The effect of viscosity is expected to weaken with increased Reynolds number and this may contribute to the downstream effects on the velocity field. Both the nozzle contraction profile and nozzle aspect ratio provide different exit boundaries for the jet. Such boundary conditions not only govern the formation of the initial jet but also its downstream flow properties. Hence, the initial growth of the shear layers and the structures within these layers are likely to evolve differently with different boundary conditions. Thus, the interaction of the large-scale structures with the surroundings seems to depend on nozzle boundary conditions and consequently, influences the downstream flow. In summary, the present study supports the notion that the near and far fields of the plane jet are strongly dependent on Reynolds number and boundary conditions. Therefore, the present thesis contains immensely useful information that will be helpful for laboratory-based engineers in selection of appropriate nozzle configurations for industrial applications.

KeywordsReynolds number, boundary-layer, turbulence, jets, fluid dynamics
ANZSRC Field of Research 2020401213. Turbulent flows
401299. Fluid mechanics and thermal engineering not elsewhere classified
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