Effects of Inlet Conditions on the Flow in a Fishtail Curved Diffuser With Strong Curvature

[+] Author and Article Information
M. I. Yaras

Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, Carleton University, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada K1S 5B6

J. Fluids Eng 118(4), 772-778 (Dec 01, 1996) (7 pages) doi:10.1115/1.2835508 History: Received November 04, 1995; Revised June 07, 1996; Online January 22, 2008


The paper presents detailed measurements of the incompressible flow at the exit of a large-scale 90-degree curved diffuser with strong curvature and significant stream-wise variation in the cross-section aspect ratio. The diffuser flow path approximates the so-called fish-tail diffuser utilized on small gas turbine engines for the transition between the centrifugal impeller and the combustion chamber. Five variations of the inlet boundary layer are considered. The results provide insight into several aspects of the diffuser flow including: the effect of flow turning on diffusion performance; the dominant structures influencing the flow development in the diffuser; and the effect of the inlet boundary layer integral parameters on the diffusion performance and the exit velocity field. The three-dimensional velocity distribution at the diffuser exit is found to be sensitive to circumferentially uniform alterations to the inlet boundary layer. In contrast, circumferential variations in the inlet boundary layer are observed to have only secondary effects on the velocity field at the diffuser exit. The static pressure recovery is observed to be comparable to the published performance of conical diffusers with equivalent included angle and area ratios. Furthermore, both the static pressure recovery and the total pressure losses are observed to be relatively insensitive to variations in the inlet boundary layer. The physical mechanisms dominating the flow development in the diffuser are discussed in light of these observations.

Copyright © 1996 by The American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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