Simulation of the Piston Driven Flow Inside a Cylinder With an Eccentric Port

[+] Author and Article Information
Adrin Gharakhani, Ahmed F. Ghoniem

Department of Mechanical Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA 02139

J. Fluids Eng 120(2), 319-326 (Jun 01, 1998) (8 pages) doi:10.1115/1.2820651 History: Received February 03, 1997; Revised November 11, 1997; Online December 04, 2007


A grid-free Lagrangian approach is applied to simulate the high Reynolds number unsteady flow inside a three-dimensional domain with moving boundaries. For this purpose, the Navier-Stokes equations are expressed in terms of the vorticity transport formulation. The convection and stretch of vorticity are obtained using the Lagrangian vortex method, while diffusion is approximated by the random walk method. The boundary-element method is used to solve a potential flow problem formulated to impose the normal flux condition on the boundary of the domain. The no-slip condition is satisfied by a vortex tile generation mechanism at the solid boundary, which takes into account the time-varying boundary surfaces due to, e.g., a moving piston. The approach is entirely grid-free within the fluid domain, requiring only meshing of the surface boundary, and virtually free of numerical diffusion. The method is applied to study the evolution of the complex vortical structure forming inside the time-varying semi-confined geometry of a cylinder equipped with an eccentric inlet port and a harmonically driven piston. Results show that vortical structures resembling those observed experimentally in similar configurations dominate this unsteady flow. The roll-up of the incoming jet is responsible for the formation of eddies whose axes are nearly parallel to the cylinder axis. These eddies retain their coherence for most of the stroke length. Instabilities resembling conventional vortex ring azimuthal modes are found to be responsible for the breakup of these toroidal eddies near the end of the piston motion. The nondiffusive nature of the numerical approach allows the prediction of these essentially inviscid phenomena without resorting to a turbulence model or the need for extremely fine, adaptive volumetric meshes.

Copyright © 1998 by The American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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