Research Papers: Flows in Complex Systems

The Flow Field in a Virtual Model of a Rotary Kiln as a Function of Inlet Geometry and Momentum Flux Ratio

[+] Author and Article Information
I. A. Sofia Larsson

Division of Fluid and Experimental Mechanics,
Luleå University of Technology,
Luleå SE-97187, Sweden
e-mail: sofia.larsson@ltu.se

T. Staffan Lundström

Division of Fluid and Experimental Mechanics,
Luleå University of Technology,
Luleå SE-97187, Sweden
e-mail: staffan.lundstrom@ltu.se

B. Daniel Marjavaara

Luossavaara-Kiirunavaara AB (Publ.),
Kiruna SE-981 86, Sweden
e-mail: daniel.marjavaara@lkab.com

Contributed by the Fluids Engineering Division of ASME for publication in the JOURNAL OF FLUIDS ENGINEERING. Manuscript received June 6, 2014; final manuscript received May 3, 2015; published online June 15, 2015. Assoc. Editor: Zhongquan Charlie Zheng.

J. Fluids Eng 137(10), 101102 (Oct 01, 2015) (11 pages) Paper No: FE-14-1292; doi: 10.1115/1.4030536 History: Received June 06, 2014; Revised May 03, 2015; Online June 15, 2015

The rotary kiln is the middle part of a grate-kiln iron ore pelletizing process and consists of a large, cylindrical rotating oven with a burner in one end. The flame is the heart of the process, delivering the necessary heat. The combustion process is largely controlled by the turbulent diffusion mixing between the primary fuel jet and the combustion air, called the secondary air, which is mostly induced through the kiln hood. The relatively high momentum of the secondary air implies that the resulting flow field has a significant impact on the combustion process, justifying a systematic study of the factors influencing the dynamics of the secondary air flow field, by neglecting the primary fuel jet and the combustion. The objective of this work is thus to investigate how the geometry and the momentum flux ratio of the inlets affect the flow field in the kiln. Down-scaled models of the kiln are investigated numerically. It is found that the resulting flow field is highly affected by both the geometry and momentum flux ratio of the inlet flows, including effects from pressure driven secondary flow occurring in the semicircular inlet ducts. The dynamics of the flow is further investigated using proper orthogonal decomposition (POD) resulting in a deeper understanding of the forming, interaction and convection of the vortical structures.

Copyright © 2015 by ASME
Your Session has timed out. Please sign back in to continue.


Petterson Reif, B. A., and Andersson, H. I., 2002, “Prediction of Turbulence-Generated Secondary Mean Flow in a Square Duct,” Flow Turbul. Combust., 68(1), pp. 41–61. [CrossRef]
Westra, R., Broersma, L., van Andel, K., and Kruyt, N., 2010, “PIV Measurements and CFD Computations of Secondary Flow in a Centrifugal Pump Impeller,” ASME J. Fluids Eng., 132(6), p. 0611041. [CrossRef]
Flack, R., and Brun, K., 2005, “Fundamental Analysis of the Secondary Flows and Jet-Wake in a Torque Converter Pump—Part II: Flow in a Curved Stationary Passage and Combined Flows,” ASME J. Fluids Eng., 127(1), pp. 75–82. [CrossRef]
Liou, T.-M., Chen, C.-C., and Chen, M.-Y., 2003, “Rotating Effect on Fluid Flow in Two Smooth Ducts Connected by a 180-Degree Bend,” ASME J. Fluids Eng., 125(1), pp. 138–148. [CrossRef]
Kalpakli, A., Örlü, R., and Alfredsson, P. H., 2012, “Dean Vortices in Turbulent Flows: Rocking or Rolling?,” J. Visualization, 15(1), pp. 37–38. [CrossRef]
Demuren, A. O., and Rodi, W., 1984, “Calculation of Turbulence-Driven Secondary Motion in Non-Circular Ducts,” J. Fluid Mech., 140, pp. 189–222. [CrossRef]
Fife, P. C., 1992, “Geometrical Aspects of Secondary Motion in Turbulent Duct Flow,” Theor. Comput. Fluid Dyn., 4(2), pp. 51–70. [CrossRef]
Demuren, A. O., 1991, “Calculation of Turbulence-Driven Secondary Motion in Ducts With Arbitrary Cross Section,” AIAA J., 29(4), pp. 531–537. [CrossRef]
Raiesi, H., Piomelli, U., and Pollard, A., 2011, “Evaluation of Turbulence Models Using Direct Numerical and Large-Eddy Simulation Data,” ASME J. Fluids Eng., 133(2), p. 021203. [CrossRef]
Hurst, K. S., and Rapley, C. W., 1991, “Turbulent Flow Measurements in a 30/60 Degree Right Triangular Duct,” Int. J. Heat Mass Transfer, 34(3), pp. 739–748. [CrossRef]
Larsson, I. A. S., Lindmark, E. M., Lundström, T. S., and Nathan, G. J., 2011, “Secondary Flow in Semi-Circular Ducts,” ASME J. Fluids Eng., 133(10), p. 101206. [CrossRef]
Lai, Y. G., So, R. M. C., and Zhang, H. S., 1991, “Turbulence-Driven Secondary Flows in a Curved Pipe,” Theor. Comput. Fluid Dyn., 3(3), pp. 163–180. [CrossRef]
Hur, N., Thangam, S., and Speziale, C. G., 1990, “Numerical Study of Turbulent Secondary Flows in Curved Ducts,” ASME J. Fluids Eng., 112(2), pp. 205–211. [CrossRef]
Moles, D. F., Watson, D., and Lain, P. B., 1973, “The Aerodynamics of the Rotary Cement Kiln,” J. Inst. Fuel, 46, pp. 353–362.
Morton, C., and Yarusevych, S., 2014, “Vortex Dynamics in the Turbulent Wake of a Single Step Cylinder,” ASME J. Fluids Eng., 136(3), p. 031204. [CrossRef]
Younis, B. A., and Abrishamchi, A., 2014, “Three-Dimensional Turbulent Vortex Shedding From a Surface-Mounted Square Cylinder: Predictions With Large-Eddy Simulations and URANS,” ASME J. Fluids Eng., 136(6), p. 060907. [CrossRef]
McClean, J. F., and Sumner, D. D., 2014, “An Experimental Investigation of Aspect Ratio and Incidence Angle Effects for the Flow Around Surface-Mounted Finite-Height Square Prisms,” ASME J. Fluids Eng., 136(8), p. 081206. [CrossRef]
Wilkins, S. J., Hogan, J. D., and Hall, J. W., 2013, “Vortex Shedding in a Tandem Circular Cylinder System With a Yawed Downstream Cylinder,” ASME J. Fluids Eng., 135(7), p. 071202. [CrossRef]
Larsson, I. A. S., Granström, B. R., Lundström, T. S., and Marjavaara, B. D., 2012, “PIV Analysis of Merging Flow in a Simplified Model of a Rotary Kiln,” Exp. Fluids, 53(2), pp. 545–560. [CrossRef]
Larsson, I. A. S., Lindmark, E. M., Lundström, T. S., Marjavaara, B. D., and Töyrä, S., 2012, “Visualization of Merging Flow by Usage of PIV and CFD With Application to Grate-Kiln Induration Machines,” J. App. Fluid Mech., 5(4), pp. 81–89.
Granström, R., 2012, “Modeling the Aerodynamics of Iron Ore Pelletizing Kilns,” Licentiate thesis, Luleå University of Technology, Luleå, Sweden.
Burström, P., Lundström, S., Marjavaara, D., and Töyrä, S., 2010, “CFD-Modeling of Selective Non-Catalytic Reduction of NOx in Grate-Kiln Plants,” Progr. Comput. Fluid Dyn. Int. J., 10(5/6), pp. 284–291. [CrossRef]
Larsson, I. A. S., Lundström, T. S., and Marjavaara, B. D., 2015, “Calculation of Kiln Aerodynamics With Two RANS Turbulence Models and by DDES,” Flow Turbul. Combust.94(4), pp. 859–878. [CrossRef]
Menter, F. R., Kuntz, M., and Langtry, R., 2003, “Ten Years of Experience With the SST Turbulence Model,” Turbulence, Heat and Mass Transfer 4, K.Hanjalic, Y.Nagano, and M.Tummers, eds., Begell House, Redding, CT, pp. 625–632.
Menter, F. R., 1994, “Two-Equation Eddy-Viscosity Turbulence Models for Engineering Applications,” AIAA J., 32(8), pp. 1598–1605. [CrossRef]
Strelets, M., 2001, “Detached Eddy Simulation of Massively Separated Flows,” AIAA Paper No. 2001-0879. [CrossRef]
Menter, F. R., and Kuntz, M., 2003, “Development and Application of a Zonal DES Turbulence Model for CFX-5,” Ansys, CFX-Validation Report, Technical Report No. CFX-VAL17/0503.
Ansys CFX, 2012, Ansys CFX-Solver Theory Guide, Release 14.5, Ansys, Canonsburg, PA.
Sciberras, M. A., and Coleman, G. N., 2007, “Testing of Reynolds-Stress-Transport Closures by Comparison With DNS of an Idealized Adverse-Pressure-Gradient Boundary Layer,” Eur. J. Mech. B Fluids, 26, pp. 551–582. [CrossRef]
Celik, I., Ghia, U., Roache, P., and Freitas, C., 2008, “Procedure for Estimation and Reporting of Uncertainty Due to Discretization in CFD,” ASME J. Fluids Eng., 130(7), pp. 338–344. [CrossRef]
Ferziger, J. H., and Peric, M., 2002, Computational Methods for Fluid Dynamics, 3rd ed., Springer, Berlin. [CrossRef]
Hunt, J. C. R., Wray, A. A., and Moin, P., 1988, “Eddies, Stream, and Convergence Zones in Turbulent Flows,” Center for Turbulence Research, Standford University and NASA, Technical Report No. CTR-S88.
Meyer, K. E., Pedersen, J. M., and Özcan, O., 2007, “A Turbulent Jet in Crossflow Analysed With Proper Orthogonal Decomposition,” J. Fluid Mech., 583, pp. 199–227. [CrossRef]
Yuan, L. L., Street, R. L., and Ferziger, J. H., 1999, “Large-Eddy Simulations of a Round Jet in Crossflow,” J. Fluid Mech., 379, pp. 71–104. [CrossRef]
Merzari, E., Pointer, W. D., and Fischer, P., 2013, “Numerical Simulation and Proper Orthogonal Decomposition of the Flow in a Counter-Flow T-Junction,” ASME J. Fluids Eng., 135(9), p. 091304. [CrossRef]
Wen, Q., Kim, H. D., Liu, Y. Z., and Kim, K. C., 2014, “Structure Analysis of a Low Reynolds Number Turbulent Submerged Jet Interacting With a Free Surface,” ASME J. Fluids Eng., 136(10), p. 101104. [CrossRef]
Berkooz, G., Holmes, P., and Lumley, J., 1993, “The Proper Orthogonal Decomposition in the Analysis of Turbulent Flows,” Annu. Rev. Fluid Mech., 25(1), pp. 539–575. [CrossRef]
Durgesh, V., and Naughton, J. W., 1993, “Multi-Time-Delay LSE-POD Complementary Approach Applied to Unsteady High-Reynolds-Number Near Wake Flow,” Exp. Fluids, 49(3), pp. 571–583. [CrossRef]


Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 1

Schematic picture of the kiln

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 5

Contours of instantaneous absolute velocity (U/Ub) in the vertical center (VC)

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 6

Time-averaged streamwise velocity contours and sectional streamlines in the VC

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 7

Contours of the instantaneous vorticity in the z-direction (ωzD/Ub) in the VC

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 3

Numerical grid seen from two perspectives

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 2

Geometries with coordinate system

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 10

Instantaneous absolute velocity (U/Ub) contours in the VC

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 11

Time-averaged streamwise velocity contours and sectional streamlines in the VC

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 12

Time-averaged streamwise velocity along the centerline

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 13

Development of the time-averaged streamwise velocity (Ux/Ub) in the end of the kiln. The profiles are extracted at x/D=4,6,8,9; all positions have been marked with a vertical straight line.

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 14

Time-averaged streamwise velocity contours in the horizontal center (HC); sectional streamlines show the flow pattern

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 18

Energy content of the first ten modes in both the vertical and HC

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 19

Scatterplot of the POD coefficients of modes 1–4 in both the vertical and HC

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 20

Mean flow and modes 1–4, VC to the left and HC to the right. The color contours in the POD modes show the out-of-plane component.

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 4

The sensitivity of the calculated flows to grid refinement, showing velocity profiles of streamwise velocity along the kiln centerline

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 8

Time-averaged streamwise velocity (Ux/Ub) contours with normalized vectors showing the in-plane motion in the transverse plane at the kiln inlet (x/D = 0)

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 9

Development of the secondary flow in the transverse plane in the upper inlet duct at positions x/D = -0.05,-0.7,-1.3 from bottom to top. The arrows are colored by time-averaged absolute velocity projected on the xy-plane. Sectional streamlines highlight the flow pattern.

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 15

Time-averaged absolute velocity (U/Ub) contours and vectors showing the flow distribution in the transverse plane at positions x/D=0.5,2,4,6,8

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 16

Vorticity (ωzD/Ub) contours in the VC, instantaneous to the left and time-average to the right

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 17

Isosurfaces of Q-criterion = 1450 (Rtot = 5.44,ud, Rtot = 1) or 1970 (Rtot = 5.44,ld). The structures are colored by absolute velocity.

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 21

Qualitative visualization of the dominant structures with Q-criterion = 522 in the first four modes in the vertical (left) and first six modes in the horizontal (right) center plane. The contour plot shows absolute velocity.

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 22

The first snapshot and the reconstruction of the first snapshot using either the first four (VC) or first six (HC) POD modes. The contours show absolute velocity. VC to the left and HC to the right.



Some tools below are only available to our subscribers or users with an online account.

Related Content

Customize your page view by dragging and repositioning the boxes below.

Related Journal Articles
Related eBook Content
Topic Collections

Sorry! You do not have access to this content. For assistance or to subscribe, please contact us:

  • TELEPHONE: 1-800-843-2763 (Toll-free in the USA)
  • EMAIL: asmedigitalcollection@asme.org
Sign In