A Simple Method for Estimating Velocity Distributions in Swirling Flows

[+] Author and Article Information
D. Kinnear, P. A. Davidson

Department of Mechanical Engineering, Imperial College, London, SW7 2BX, England

J. Fluids Eng 116(4), 694-701 (Dec 01, 1994) (8 pages) doi:10.1115/1.2911837 History: Received July 02, 1993; Revised August 10, 1994; Online May 23, 2008


We describe the important structural features of swirling recirculating flows induced by a rotating boundary. A knowledge of this structure has allowed us to match the core flow to the boundary layer using a momentum-integral technique. In particular, we derive a single integral-differential equation, valid for any shape of container, which predicts the distribution of swirl, secondary recirculation, and wall shear stress. This momentum-integral approach has been applied to three cases: flow between parallel disks; flow in a cone; and flow in a hemisphere. The results compare favorably with published experimental data, and with computed numerical results. Our momentum-integral approach complements numerical solution methods. For simple geometries all the important information can, in principle, be derived using the momentum-integral approach, and this is particularly useful for establishing the scaling laws. In more complex geometries a numerical approach may be more appropriate. However, even in such cases, the scaling laws derived using the momentum-integral analysis are still useful as they allow extrapolation of a single computation to a wide range of high Reynolds number flows.

Copyright © 1994 by The American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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