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An experimental study of a turbulent vortex ring

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  26 April 2006

Ari Glezer
Department of Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering, University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ 85721, USA
Donald Coles
California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, CA 91125, USA


A turbulent vortex ring having a relatively thin core is formed in water by a momentary jet discharge from an orifice in a submerged plate. The necessary impulse is provided by a pressurized reservoir and is controlled by a fast programmable solenoid valve. The main aim of the research is to verify the similarity properties of the mean flow, as defined by ensemble averaging, and to find the distribution of mean vorticity, turbulent energy, and other quantities in the appropriate non-steady similarity coordinates. The velocity field of the vortex is measured for numerous realizations with the aid of a two-channel tracking laser-Doppler velocimeter. The problem of dispersion in the trajectories of the individual rings is overcome by development of a signature-recognition technique in two variables. It is found that the turbulence intensity is largest near the vortex core and that at least the radial component is not negligible in the near wake. The slow growth of the ring structure is controlled by a slight excess of entrainment over de-entrainment. An important inference is that the growth process and the process of turbulence production probably involve secondary vortices wrapped around the core in azimuthal planes.

Research Article
© 1990 Cambridge University Press

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