Newest Issue

Review Article

J. Fluids Eng. 2018;141(2):020801-020801-19. doi:10.1115/1.4040501.

The ground-effect diffuser has become a major aerodynamic device on open-wheel racing and sports cars. Accordingly, it is widely considered to be indispensable to their aerodynamic performance, largely due to its significant downforce contribution. However, the physics and characteristics that determine how it generates downforce and its application in the auto racing industry require an in-depth analysis to develop an understanding. Furthermore, research that could generate further performance improvement of the diffuser has not been defined and presented. For these reasons, this review attempts to create a systematic understanding of the physics that influence the performance of the ground-effect diffuser. As a means of doing this, the review introduces research data and observations from various relevant studies on this subject. It then investigates advanced diffuser concepts mainly drawn from the race car industry and also proposes a further research direction that would advance the aerodynamic performance of the diffuser. It is concluded that although the diffuser will continue to be paramount in the aerodynamic performance of racing cars, research is needed to identify means to further enhance its performance.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster

Research Papers: Flows in Complex Systems

J. Fluids Eng. 2018;141(2):021101-021101-10. doi:10.1115/1.4040557.

The aim of the current study is to investigate the effect of inlet blade angles on cavitation performance in a centrifugal pump. In order to reveal this relationship, both hub and shroud blade angles are considered and a two-phase three-dimensional computational fluid dynamics (CFD) study is carried out. Shear stress transport (SST) turbulence and Rayleigh–Plesset cavitation models are used in simulations. Inlet blade angles for both hub and shroud are changed and pump performance (head-discharge) and cavitation (head-inlet pressure) graphs are obtained for eight different designs. Afterward, numerical cavitation tests are conducted, required net positive suction head values of the each design are calculated, and variations are demonstrated. Results show that hub and shroud blade angle variations have no significant effect on the pump characteristic curves excluding for shroud blade angle at high discharge values. However, cavitation performance of the pump is excessively affected for both hub and shroud blade angle alterations. Increasing hub blade angle has slightly negative effect on cavitation performance of the pump. On the other hand, while increasing shroud blade angle from 20 deg to 30 deg have positive effect on cavitation performance, it is negatively affected from 30 deg to 50 deg.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
J. Fluids Eng. 2018;141(2):021102-021102-15. doi:10.1115/1.4040523.

The propulsors of organisms from paramecia to dolphins have ball-and-socket jointed bases that allow large-amplitude, low-friction swings. Their olivo-cerebellar control also remains unchanged. Yet, the propulsive surfaces of small animals vary widely from flagellar filaments (0 < Re < 5) to flapping fins (Re > 20) with an intermediate range of Reynolds number (5 < Re < 20) where both types are present in the same swimming animal. Analysis suggests that these unsteady surfaces are mechanical oscillators coupled to their nonlinear wakes. A low-friction-driven oscillator that can interact with the oscillators of models or live swimming and flying animals could help us understand the hydro-structural events prompting the evolution of such surfaces at specific Re values. A gearless underdamped (in air) hemispherical motor oscillator is described where energetic efficiency increases by a factor of eight as the forces drop by a factor of ten from 10 N. The electrical efficiencies at 0.8 N are comparable to the total thermal efficiencies of flies, and the quality factor is comparable. The continuously varying fin oscillation of penguin fins and abruptly varying fin oscillations of Clione antarctica and flies are reproduced. When flapping at 0.3 Hz, the oscillator would respond to all wake nonlinearities. Abrupt fin turning is modeled by switching the roll and pitch phase difference between π/2 and π/2 in successive quadrants. Defining the fish-wake lock-in error as the difference between Triantafyllou's fish Strouhal number and the tangent of the vortex-shedding angle, an experiment is discussed for measuring the minimum drag of live fish.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
J. Fluids Eng. 2018;141(2):021103-021103-17. doi:10.1115/1.4040502.

The cavitating flow around the asymmetric leading edge (ALE) 15 hydrofoil is investigated through large eddy simulation with the modified Schnerr–Sauer cavitation model, which considers the effect of noncondensable gas. The statistical average velocity profiles obtained by simulation and experimentation show good agreement. The time evolution of cavity shape shows that cavity growth and separation start from the short side and spread toward the long side due to a side-entrant jet. The variation frequency of the cavity length of ALE15 hydrofoil at the long side is 163.93 Hz, and the cavitation shedding frequency at the short side is 306.67 Hz, which is about twice the value of the former. The filtered vorticity transport equation is employed to investigate the cavitation–vortex–turbulence interaction. Results indicate that vortex stretching is the major promoter of cavitation development, and vortex dilatation links vapor cavity and vortices. Baroclinic torque is noticeable at the liquid–vapor interface, and turbulent stress is related to cavitation inception. Moreover, a one-dimensional model for predicting pressure fluctuation is proposed, and results show that the model can effectively predict cavitation-induced pressure fluctuation on a hydrofoil, even on a three-dimensional ALE15 hydrofoil.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster

Research Papers: Multiphase Flows

J. Fluids Eng. 2018;141(2):021301-021301-10. doi:10.1115/1.4040465.

A state-of-the-art, portable dispersion characterization rig (P-DCR) is used to investigate the effect of nanoparticles (NP) on oil-water emulsion formation and stabilization. Spherical silica NP of different wettabilities were used to investigate their effect on separation kinetics of solid stabilized emulsions in terms of solid particle concentration, wettability, initial dispersion phase, water-cut, and shearing time. The main findings of the study include the following: NP, even at concentrations as low as 0.005% or 0.01% (by weight), can significantly increase separation time of oil/water emulsions from a few minutes to several hours or even days. The P-DCR is recommended as an effective inline tool to measure emulsion stability in the field.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster

Research Papers: Techniques and Procedures

J. Fluids Eng. 2018;141(2):021401-021401-12. doi:10.1115/1.4040464.

Large eddy simulation (LES) is conducted for the flow over the shell side of a helical coil steam generator (HCSG) heat exchanger. Simulations are conducted on a simplified experimental test section that represents a one-column region of the helical coils using half-rods. Although the rods are wall-bounded, the flow still exhibits the turbulent characteristics and fluctuations from vortex shedding that one would expect from crossflow around a cylinder. The spectral element, computational fluid dynamics (CFD) code Nek5000, is used to capture the physics, and the results are compared with particle image velocimetry (PIV) measurements. In order to ensure that the turbulence is resolved, analysis is conducted by using the Taylor length scales and normalized wall distance. Sensitivity to the inlet boundary conditions (BCs) and the spatial discretization for different polynomial order solutions are also studied, finding only minor differences between each case. Pressure drop and velocity statistics show reasonable agreement with PIV. Proper orthogonal decomposition (POD) analysis reveals that the primary modes are similar between experiment and simulation, although the LES predicts higher turbulent kinetic energy than does PIV. Overall, the study establishes the resolution and resources required in order to conduct a high-fidelity simulation over 12 helical rods.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster

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