Research Papers: Flows in Complex Systems

J. Fluids Eng. 2013;135(3):031101-031101-23. doi:10.1115/1.4005822.

General methodologies are proposed in this two-part paper that further phenomenological understanding of compressible stall inception and aeromechanical control of high-speed axial compressors and engine performance. Developed in Part I are strategies for passive stabilization of compressible rotating stall, using tailored structural design and aeromechanical feedback control, implemented in certain classes of high-speed axial compressors used in research laboratories and by industry. Fundamentals of the stability of various dynamically-compensated, high-speed compressors was set down from linearized, compressible structural-hydrodynamic equations of modal stall inception extended further in this study from previous work. A dimensionless framework for performance-based design of aeromechanically-controlled compression system stall mitigation and engine performance is established, linking specified design flow and work-transfer (pressure) operability to model stages or local blade components, velocity triangle environment, optimum efficiency, extended stall margin and operability loci, and aeromechanical detailed design. A systematic evaluation was made in Part II (Coleman and McGee, 2013, “Aeromechanical Control of High-Speed Axial Compressor Stall and Engine Performance—Part II: Assessments of Methodology,” ASME J. Fluids Eng. (to be published)) on the performance of ten aeromechanical feedback controller schemes to increase the predicted range of stable operation of two laboratory compressor characteristics assumed, using static pressure sensing and local structural actuation to rudimentary postpone high-speed modal stall inception. The maximum flow operating range for each of the ten dynamically-compensated, high-speed compression systems was determined using optimized or “tailored” structural controllers, and the results described in Part II of the companion paper are compared to maximum operating ranges achieved in corresponding low-speed compression systems.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
J. Fluids Eng. 2013;135(3):031102-031102-14. doi:10.1115/1.4023298.

Prediction of fluid-elastic instability onset is a great matter of importance in designing cross-flow heat exchangers from the perspective of vibration. In the present paper, the threshold of fluid-elastic instability has been numerically predicted by the simulation of incompressible, unsteady, and turbulent cross flow through a tube bundle in a normal triangular arrangement. In the tube bundle under study, there were single or multiple flexible cylinders surrounded by rigid tubes. A finite volume solver based on a Cartesian-staggered grid was implemented. In addition, the ghost-cell method in conjunction with the great-source-term technique was employed in order to directly enforce the no-slip condition on the cylinders' boundaries. Interactions between the fluid and the structures were considered in a fully coupled manner by means of intermittence solution of the flow field and structural equations of motion in each time step of the numerical modeling algorithm. The accuracy of the solver was validated by simulation of the flow over both a rigid and a flexible circular cylinder. The results were in good agreement with the experiments reported in the literatures. Eventually, the flow through seven different flexible tube bundles was simulated. The fluid-elastic instability was predicted and analyzed by presenting the structural responses, trajectory of flexible cylinders, and critical reduced velocities.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
J. Fluids Eng. 2013;135(3):031103-031103-11. doi:10.1115/1.4023192.

In this numerical study, flow-induced vibrations of a heated elastically supported cylinder in a laminar flow with Re = 200 and Pr = 0.7 are simulated using the moving overset grids method. This work is carried out for a wide range of natural frequencies of the cylinder, while for all cases mass ratio and reduced damping coefficient, respectively, are set to 1 and 0.01. Here we study lock-in condition and its effects on force coefficients, the amplitude of oscillations, vortex shedding pattern, and Nusselt number and simultaneously investigate the effect of in-line oscillations of the cylinder on these parameters. Results show that for this cylinder, soft lock-in occurs for a range of natural frequencies and parameters like Nusselt number, and the amplitude of oscillation reach their maximum values in this range. In addition, this study shows that in-line oscillations of the cylinder have an important effect on its dynamic and thermal behavior, and one-degree-of-freedom simulation, for an elastic cylinder, which can vibrate freely in a flow field, is only valid for cases far from soft lock-in range.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster

Research Papers: Fundamental Issues and Canonical Flows

J. Fluids Eng. 2013;135(3):031201-031201-10. doi:10.1115/1.4023297.

Surfactants are superior to polymers in reducing drag and their advantages are very well established. As drag reducers, several factors, such as concentration, temperature, salinity, shear rate, etc., can affect their behavior. Other unique factors relevant to surfactants may include tubing diameter (scale-up effect), head group structure, counterion, charge, etc. Although, drag reduction envelope is customarily employed to investigate drag reduction phenomena, it is defined only for polymeric fluids in both straight and coiled tubing and for surfactant-based (SB) fluids in straight tubing. No such envelope is available for SB fluids in coiled tubing. The present research aims at experimentally investigating the drag reduction characteristics of the most widely used Aromox APA-T surfactant-based fluids. It is a highly active surfactant used as gelling agent in aqueous and brine base fluids. Flow data are gathered using small and large scale flow loops. Straight and coiled tubing with various sizes (1.27 cm to 7.30 cm o.d.) and curvature ratios (0.01 to 0.031) covering the field application range are utilized. The results show that SB fluids exhibit superior drag reduction characteristics. Their behavior is significantly affected by surfactant concentration, shear, tubing size, and geometry. Higher drag reduction is seen in straight tubing than in coiled tubing and increasing curvature ratio yields higher friction pressure losses. In coiled tubing, SB fluids exhibit better drag reduction characteristics than Shah and Zhou maximum drag reduction (MDR) asymptote for polymeric fluids. Therefore, a new maximum drag reduction asymptote is developed using data gathered in 1.27 cm o.d. tubing. The proposed correlation agrees with Zakin MDR asymptote for SB fluids in straight tubing where the curvature ratio is set to be zero. Employing the proposed correlation, a modified drag reduction envelope can be used to evaluate drag reduction characteristics of SB fluids.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
J. Fluids Eng. 2013;135(3):031202-031202-12. doi:10.1115/1.4023190.

A numerical study of compressible jet flows is carried out using Reynolds averaged Navier–Stokes (RANS) turbulence models such as k-ɛ and k-ω-SST. An experimental investigation is performed concurrently using high-speed optical methods such as Schlieren photography and shadowgraphy. Numerical and experimental studies are carried out for the compressible impinging at various impinging angles and nozzle-to-wall distances. The results from both investigations converge remarkably well and agree with experimental data from the open literature. From the flow visualizations of the velocity fields, the RANS simulations accurately model the shock structures within the core jet region. The first shock cell is found to be constraint due to the interaction with the bow-shock structure for nozzle-to-wall distance less than 1.5 nozzle diameter. The results from the current study show that the RANS models utilized are suitable to simulate compressible free jets and impinging jet flows with varying impinging angles.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
J. Fluids Eng. 2013;135(3):031203-031203-7. doi:10.1115/1.4023191.

The interface area increase produced by large-amplitude wave refraction through an interface that separates fluids with different densities can have important physiochemical consequences, such as a fuel consumption rate increase in the case of a shock–flame interaction. Using the results of numerical simulations along with a scaling analysis, a unified scaling law of the interface length increase was developed applicable to shock and expansion wave refractions and both types of interface orientation with the respect to the incoming wave. To avoid a common difficulty in interface length quantification in the numerical tests, a sinusoidally perturbed interface was generated using gases with different temperatures. It was found that the rate of interface increase correlates almost linearly with the circulation deposited at the interface. When combined with earlier developed models of circulation deposition in Richtmyer–Meshkov instability, the obtained scaling law predicts dependence of interface dynamics on the basic problem parameters.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
J. Fluids Eng. 2013;135(3):031204-031204-9. doi:10.1115/1.4023196.

Losses in a flow through conduit components of a pipe system can be accounted for by head loss coefficients K. They can either be determined experimentally or from numerical solutions of the flow field. The physical interpretation is straight forward when these losses are related to the entropy generation in the flow field. This can be done based on the numerical solutions by the second law analysis (SLA) successfully applied for steady flows in the past. This analysis here is extended to unsteady laminar flow, exemplified by a periodic pulsating mass flow rate with the pulsation amplitude and the frequency as crucial parameters. First the numerical model is validated by comparing it to results for unsteady laminar pipe flow with analytical solutions for this case. Then K-values are determined for the benchmark case of a 90 deg bend with a square cross section which is well-documented for the steady case already. It turns out that time averaged values of K may significantly deviate from the corresponding steady values. The K-values determined for steady flow are a good approximation for the time-averaged values in the unsteady case only for small frequencies and small amplitudes.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
J. Fluids Eng. 2013;135(3):031205-031205-12. doi:10.1115/1.4023408.

A miniature viscous disk pump (VDP) is utilized to characterize and quantify non-Newtonian fluid deviations due to non-Newtonian influences relative to Newtonian flow behavior. Such deviations from Newtonian behavior are induced by adding different concentrations of sucrose to purified water, with increasing non-Newtonian characteristics as sucrose concentration increases from 0% (pure water) to 10% by mass. The VDP consists of a 10.16 mm diameter disk that rotates above a C-shaped channel with inner and outer radii of 1.19 mm, and 2.38 mm, respectively, and a channel depth of 200 μm. Fluid inlet and outlet ports are located at the ends of the C-shaped channel. Within the present study, experimental data are given for rotational speeds of 1200–2500 rpm, fluid viscosities of 0.001–0.00134 Pa s, pressure rises of 0–220 Pa, and flow rates up to approximately 0.00000005 m3/s. The theory of Flumerfelt is modified and adapted for application to the present VDP environment. Included is a new development of expressions for dimensionless volumetric flow rate, and normalized local circumferential velocity for Newtonian and non-Newtonian fluid flows. To quantify deviations due to the magnitude non-Newtonian flow influences, a new pressure rise parameter is employed, which represents the dimensional pressure rise change at a particular flow rate and sucrose concentration, as the flow changes from Newtonian to non-Newtonian behavior. For 5% and 10% sucrose solutions at rotational speeds of 1200–2500 rpm, this parameter increases as the disk dimensional rotational speed increases and as the volumetric flow rate decreases. Associated magnitudes of the pressure difference parameter show that the fluid with the larger sucrose concentration (by mass) produces significantly larger differences between Newtonian and non-Newtonian fluid flow, for each value of dimensional volumetric flow rate. For each disc rotational speed, compared to Newtonian data, dimensional pressure rise variations with dimensional volumetric flow rate, which are associated with the non-Newtonian data, are generally lower when compared at a particular volumetric flow rate. Agreement with analytic results, for any given flow rate, rotational speed, and flow passage height, validates the shear stress model employed to represent non-Newtonian behavior, as well as the analytic equations and tools (based upon the Navier–Stokes equations) which are employed to predict measured behavior over the investigated range of experimental conditions.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
J. Fluids Eng. 2013;135(3):031206-031206-6. doi:10.1115/1.4023649.

The influence of calibration data sorting procedures and the order of polynomial curve fit used to calibrate seven hole pressure probes in subsonic, incompressible flow are discussed. It is shown that the inclusion of fourth order polynomial terms is necessary to properly model the physical response of the probe. It is also shown that the uniformity of probe response error is significantly affected by polynomial extrapolation near sector boundaries, and that the uniformity can be improved by using some calibration points in multiple sectors.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster

Research Papers: Multiphase Flows

J. Fluids Eng. 2013;135(3):031301-031301-5. doi:10.1115/1.4023296.

Airlift pump is a type of deep well pumps. Sometimes, it is used for removing water from mines or pumping slurry of sand and water or other solutions. The performance of airlift pump is affected by two sets of parameters; the geometrical and operational parameters. This work suggests a way to reduce the acceleration loss followed the expansion of air phase in the riser tube of the airlift pump, and consequently minimize transition to annular flow regime that is characterized by poor pumping performance. The method is to gradually enlarge the riser tube at some points after the air injection zone. Enlarging the riser tube can be considered as an alternative way in the cases where increasing airlift tube diameter is restricted by, e.g., the design of air injection system. A numerical model of the airlift pump based on the concept of momentum balance was developed and validated against available experimental data. Parametric predictive studies on model airlift pumps with different riser tube configurations, based on position, degree of expansion ratio and length of tube graduation section, were carried out. The numerical results showed that gradually enlarging the riser tube diameter at a position near the air injection zone would significantly improve the airlift pump discharge rate. Having the enlarged section set at a certain position and increasing the degree of expansion of the gradually enlarged tube section, the predicted results illustrated an improvement in the pump discharge rate but limited by the value of tube expansion ratio. The length of the enlarged tube section is shown not to considerably contribute to the improvement in the pump output rate when gradually enlarging the riser tube.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
J. Fluids Eng. 2013;135(3):031302-031302-11. doi:10.1115/1.4023407.

This paper reports results of an experimental investigation of the loss coefficient and onset of cavitation caused by water flow through perforated plates of varying thickness and flow area to pipe area ratio at high speeds. The overall plate loss coefficient, point of cavitation inception, and point where critical cavitation occurs are functions of perforation hole size, number of holes, and plate thickness. Sixteen total plates were considered in the study with the total perforation hole area to pipe area ratio ranging from 0.11 and 0.6, the plate thickness to perforation hole diameter ranging from 0.25 to 3.3, and the number of perforation holes ranging from 4 to 1800. The plates were mounted in the test section of a closed water flow loop. The results reveal a complex dependency between the plate loss coefficient with total free-area ratio and the plate thickness to perforation hole diameter ratio. In general, the loss coefficient decreases with increasing free-area ratio and increasing thickness-to-hole diameter ratio. A model based on the data is presented that predicts the loss coefficient for multiholed perforated plates with nonrounded holes. Furthermore, the data show that the cavitation number at the points of cavitation inception and critical cavitation increases with increasing free-area ratio. However, with regard to the thickness-to-hole diameter ratio, the cavitation number at inception exhibits a local maximum at a ratio between 0.5 and 1.0. Empirical models to allow prediction of the point of cavitation inception and the point where critical cavitation begins are presented and compared to single hole orifice plate behavior.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster

Technical Briefs

J. Fluids Eng. 2013;135(3):034501-034501-6. doi:10.1115/1.4023406.

Microbubbles are broadly used as ultrasound contrast agents. In this paper we use a low-cost flow focusing microchannel fabrication method for preparing microbubble contrast agents by using some surface active agents and a viscosity enhancing material to obtain appropriate microbubbles with desired lifetime and stability for any in vitro infusion for velocity measurement. All the five parameters that govern the bubble size extract and some efforts are done to achieve the smallest bubbles by adding suitable surfactant concentrations. By using these microbubbles for the echo-particle image velocimetry method, we experimentally determine the velocity field of steady state and pulsatile pipe flows.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster

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