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Experimental investigation of transitional flow in a toroidal pipe

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  13 December 2013

J. Kühnen*
Affiliation:
Institute of Fluid Mechanics and Heat Transfer, Vienna University of Technology, Resselgasse 3/1/2, A-1040, Vienna, Austria IST Austria, Am Campus 1, 3400 Klosterneuburg, Austria
M. Holzner
Affiliation:
Institute of Environmental Engineering, ETH Zürich, Wolfgang Pauli Strasse 15, CH-8093 Zürich, Switzerland
B. Hof
Affiliation:
IST Austria, Am Campus 1, 3400 Klosterneuburg, Austria Max Planck Institute for Dynamics and Self Organization, Bunsenstrasse 10, D-37073 Göttingen, Germany
H. C. Kuhlmann
Affiliation:
Institute of Fluid Mechanics and Heat Transfer, Vienna University of Technology, Resselgasse 3/1/2, A-1040, Vienna, Austria
*
Email address for correspondence: jakob.kuehnen@ist.ac.at

Abstract

The flow instability and further transition to turbulence in a toroidal pipe (torus) with curvature ratio (tube-to-coiling diameter) 0.049 is investigated experimentally. The flow inside the toroidal pipe is driven by a steel sphere fitted to the inner pipe diameter. The sphere is moved with constant azimuthal velocity from outside the torus by a moving magnet. The experiment is designed to investigate curved pipe flow by optical measurement techniques. Using stereoscopic particle image velocimetry, laser Doppler velocimetry and pressure drop measurements, the flow is measured for Reynolds numbers ranging from 1000 to 15 000. Time- and space-resolved velocity fields are obtained and analysed. The steady axisymmetric basic flow is strongly influenced by centrifugal effects. On an increase of the Reynolds number we find a sequence of bifurcations. For $\mathit{Re}= 4075\pm 2\hspace{0.167em} \% $ a supercritical bifurcation to an oscillatory flow is found in which waves travel in the streamwise direction with a phase velocity slightly faster than the mean flow. The oscillatory flow is superseded by a presumably quasi-periodic flow at a further increase of the Reynolds number before turbulence sets in. The results are found to be compatible, in general, with earlier experimental and numerical investigations on transition to turbulence in helical and curved pipes. However, important aspects of the bifurcation scenario differ considerably.

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Papers
Copyright
©2013 Cambridge University Press 

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Kühnen et al. supplementary movie

Movie of a short section of the toroidal pipe from above at Re = 4350. The camera is following the flow with the velocity of the driving sphere, i.e. practically the bulk velocity of the flow.

Download Kühnen et al. supplementary movie(Video)
Video 15 MB
Supplementary material: Image

Kühnen et al. supplementary movie

Fully time-resolved oscillatory flow (shown are the contour lines of the streamwise velocity w in the cross-section of the toroidal pipe) during one period at Re=4300.

Download Kühnen et al. supplementary movie(Image)
Image 2 MB
Supplementary material: Image

Kühnen et al. supplementary movie

Vector fields of the cross-stream velocity fluctuations and selected contour lines of the streamwise velocity fluctuations during one period at Re=4300.

Download Kühnen et al. supplementary movie(Image)
Image 1 MB
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