Flow Structure in a Rayleigh-Bénard Cell Upon Impulsive Spin-Up

[+] Author and Article Information
Peter Vorobieff, Robert E. Ecke

Center for Nonlinear Studies and Condensed Matter and Thermal Physics Group, Los Alamos National Laboratory, Los Alamos, NM 87545

J. Fluids Eng 120(4), 672-675 (Dec 01, 1998) (4 pages) doi:10.1115/1.2820721 History: Received November 05, 1997; Revised July 30, 1998; Online December 04, 2007


We investigate convection in a cylindrical Rayleigh-Bénard cell with radius-to-height ratio Γ = 1/2. The cell is subjected to impulsive spin-up about its vertical axis. We use TLC (thermochromic liquid crystal) imaging for temperature field measurements and PIV (particle image velocimetry) for velocity reconstruction of the transition in the range of Rayleigh numbers R from 5 × 107 to 5 × 108 and dimensionless rotation rates Ω from 0 up to 8 × 104 . The initial (at rest) and the final (in steady rotation) states of the system are those of turbulent convection. The most persistent transient feature is a well-defined ring pattern characterized by a decrease in temperature, axial velocity directed downward and high azimuthal shear. The latter leads to formation of an azimuthally regular structure of Kelvin-Helmholz vortices. During the final stage of the transition, this vortical structure loses azimuthal regularity and an irregular pattern of vortices characteristic of turbulent rotating convection forms.

Copyright © 1998 by The American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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