Research Papers: Flows in Complex Systems

Relaminarization of Pipe Flow by Means of 3D-Printed Shaped Honeycombs

[+] Author and Article Information
Jakob Kühnen

IST Austria,
Am Campus 1,
Klosterneuburg A-3400, Austria
e-mail: jakob.kuehnen@ist.ac.at

Davide Scarselli

IST Austria,
Am Campus 1,
Klosterneuburg A-3400, Austria
e-mail: davide.scarselli@ist.ac.at

Björn Hof

IST Austria,
Am Campus 1,
Klosterneuburg A-3400
e-mail: b.hof@ist.ac.at

1Corresponding author.

Contributed by the Fluids Engineering Division of ASME for publication in the JOURNAL OF FLUIDS ENGINEERING. Manuscript received January 2, 2019; final manuscript received April 4, 2019; published online May 8, 2019. Assoc. Editor: Pierre E. Sullivan.

J. Fluids Eng 141(11), 111105 (May 08, 2019) (7 pages) Paper No: FE-19-1005; doi: 10.1115/1.4043494 History: Received January 02, 2019; Revised April 04, 2019

Based on a novel control scheme, where a steady modification of the streamwise velocity profile leads to complete relaminarization of initially fully turbulent pipe flow, we investigate the applicability and usefulness of custom-shaped honeycombs for such control. The custom-shaped honeycombs are used as stationary flow management devices which generate specific modifications of the streamwise velocity profile. Stereoscopic particle image velocimetry and pressure drop measurements are used to investigate and capture the development of the relaminarizing flow downstream these devices. We compare the performance of straight (constant length across the radius of the pipe) honeycombs with custom-shaped ones (variable length across the radius) and try to determine the optimal shape for maximal relaminarization at minimal pressure loss. The optimally modified streamwise velocity profile is found to be M-shaped, and the maximum attainable Reynolds number for total relaminarization is found to be of the order of 10,000. Consequently, the respective reduction in skin friction downstream of the device is almost by a factor of 5. The break-even point, where the additional pressure drop caused by the device is balanced by the savings due to relaminarization and a net gain is obtained, corresponds to a downstream stretch of distances as low as approximately 100 pipe diameters of laminar flow.

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Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 1

Sketch of the test facility. Different flow management devices (see Fig. 2 for details) can be mounted inside a glass pipe. The flow direction is from left to right. Drawing not to scale.

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 2

Front view and side view of the FMD. The support is mounted within a flange to fix the FMD within the pipe. All dimensions in millimeter.

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 3

Magnified images of the frontside (left) and backside (right) of the printed honeycomb. The backside had to be sanded after printing. The length of the arrow indicates the scale.

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 4

(a) Azimuthally averaged, mean streamwise velocity profile for relaminarized flow measured at z =190 compared to the Hagen–Poiseuille laminar solution and the measured uncontrolled turbulent flow (Ref.). (b) Azimuthally averaged streamwise root-mean-square velocity for relaminarized flow measured at z =190 compared to the measured uncontrolled turbulent flow (Ref.).

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 5

Maximum values of Re at which full relaminarization is observed for (a), straight FMDs (RHC = 0 mm) as a function of LHC and (b), two selected examples of radially shaped FMDs (△, LHC = 10 mm and ▽, LHC = 20 mm) as a function of RHC

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 6

Azimuthally averaged, mean streamwise velocity profiles measured downstream the FMD at Re = 6000. (a) and (b), evolution of the velocity profile for FMD-20-0 and FMD-20-9.5, respectively. (c) Comparison of selected velocity profiles measured at z =3. For reference and comparison, the Hagen–Poiseuille laminar solution (dotted line in figure a and b) and the measured uncontrolled turbulent flow (Ref. in figure a, b, and c) are also shown.

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 7

Pressure drop coefficient K as a function of Re for different straight FMDs (RHC = 0 mm). Each curve is labeled by the corresponding value of LHC. The error bars represent the 95% confidence interval.

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 8

Sketch of the qualitative evolution of the pressure drop Δp(z) along the pipe. In the undisturbed flow, Δp(z) increases linearly with z with a slope given by the turbulent friction factor (dashed line). The presence of relaminarizing honeycomb-FMD (gray rectangle) introduces an abrupt increase of Δp(z). Further downstream, the flow develops to laminar and Δp(z) grows linearly with a slope proportional to the laminar friction factor (solid line). The intersection between the two curves defines the break-even point and represents the minimum length of pipe necessary to realize an energy gain.

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 9

Contour levels of the break-even location zBE computed for straight FMDs (RHC = 0 mm). In addition, we marked the maximum value of Re at which relaminarization is observed for straight FMDs (●), FMD-10-2 (▲) and FMD-20-9.5 (▼).



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